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Support to the Establishment and Operationalization of ECCAS Regional Animal Health Centre: A Major VET-GOV Milestone

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© 2016 AU-IBAR. H.E. Gabriel TCHANGO State Minister, Minister in charge of fisheries and livestock of Gabon (left), Professor Ahmed ELSAWALHY, the Director of AU-IBAR (right).© 2016 AU-IBAR. H.E. Gabriel TCHANGO State Minister, Minister in charge of fisheries and livestock of Gabon (left), Professor Ahmed ELSAWALHY, the Director of AU-IBAR (right).The launching ceremony of the operationalization of the ECCAS Regional Animal Health Centre (ECCAS-RAHC) took place on April 14, 2016 at the Hotel "LA BAIE DES TORTUES", located at the Pangora Park. The facility is a landmark of the Pointe Denis Island, situated 20km off the Libreville coast.

The ceremony was presided over by H.E. Gabriel TCHANGO State Minister, Minister in charge of fisheries and livestock of Gabon, in the presence of H.E. Madame Clotilde NIZIGAMA, the Deputy Secretary General of ECCAS in charge of Program, Budget, Administration and Human Resources.

Representatives of the technical and strategic partners of ECCAS in the development of animal resources were also present. They were among others:

  • Professor Ahmed ELSAWALHY, the Director of AU – IBAR,
  • Mr. Dan RUGABIRA, Coordinator of the FAO Sub – Regional Bureau for Central Africa,
  • Doctor Karim TOUNKARA the Regional Representative of OIE for Africa,
  • Professor Toussaint BENGONE N’DONG, the Executive Secretary of CEBEVIRHA,
  • Mr. Julius SINGOMA KAGAMBA of GALVmed

© 2016 AU-IBAR. Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy receiving the RAHC documents from H.E. Madame Clotilde NIZIGAMA.© 2016 AU-IBAR. Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy receiving the RAHC documents from H.E. Madame Clotilde NIZIGAMA.Following the welcoming remarks by the ECCAS Deputy Secretary General and the opening speech by the Minister in Charge of Fisheries and Livestock of Gabon, the representatives of the technical institutions took the floor, in order to express the commitment of their various organizations to support ECCAS in its battle to reduce the negative impact of animal diseases in the region. Professor Ahmed ELSAWALHY spearheaded the group of speakers and presented AU – IBAR as the leading institution in this endeavor. Hence a long term partnership was sealed to develop animal resources in the region, with an emphasis on diseases surveillance, control and eradication not only for the betterment of animal health and animal welfare, but first and foremost for an enhanced food and nutrition security in the ECCAS origin.

At the end, and for the ECCAS Region, it was a breakthrough event, a milestone toward the achievement of the strategic objective of the VET – GOV Program with the aim of strengthening the regional economic communities to establish adequate veterinary services at the national level and play their roles of coordination, harmonization, integration and support to countries.

Members of the VET-GOV Steering Committee Members attended the opening ceremony which was followed by a workshop on the 15th and 16th of April 2016, at the Hotel Boulevard in Libreville, Gabon.

Following fruitful deliberations on the situation of livestock in ECCAS, partners institutions strategic plans and potentials areas of support to ECCAS-RAHC, successes and failures of RAHCs in other regions of Africa, participants who came from Chad, Gabon, AU – IBAR, FAO, OIE, GALVmed, ECCAS and CEMAC (CEBEVIRHA and BDEAC) agreed on the next step which is the following:

Recruitment of a Consultant to facilitate a writeshop with the objective of producing the Terms of Reference of the ECCAS Animal Health Regional Centre and particularly the institutional arrangement, the legal setup , organogram and financing mechanism. ECCAS is in charge of the implementation of this activity in collaboration with AU – IBAR which pledged to allocate resources through the VET-GOV programme to finance the writeshop.