Member States of SADC agreed to harmonise veterinary legislations, which spur a collective actions on the prevention and control of transboundary animal diseases and zoonoses in the Region. In a regional seminar, held in Maseru, Lesotho, from 6th to 10th July 2015, Member States reached consensus to harmonise a veterinary legislation in animal disease control with a focus on PPR.
The regional seminar was organized by AU-IBAR/VET-GOV Programme and OIE to create the platform where SADC Member States can convene and deliberate on regional livestock issues and challenges that require regional remedies. The seminary drew over 35 participants from Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Recognizing the importance of this platform, Hon. Mapalesa Mothokho, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security of the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho underscored the fact that a harmonised veterinary legislation would herald a new era of cooperation in supporting of the Region’s livestock sector. He also noted that this agreement put the livestock sector at the frontline of SADC’s progression towards regional economic cooperation.
Dr Marosi Molomo, Director of Livestock Services from the Ministry of Livestock and Food Security of Lesotho, Drs Letshwenyo and Modisane from OIE, Dr Patrick Otto from FAO, Dr. Gaolathe Thobokwe from SADC secretariat and Dr Bruce Mukanda representing the Director of AU-IBAR have made important remarks during the official opening of the seminar.
The 6th Steering Committee Meeting of the AU-IBAR/VET-GOV Programme, which evaluated the six month performance of VET-GOV, praises the concrete results achieved in terms of the development of livestock policy frameworks and legislations.
Deliberating on VET-GOV’s consolidated progress report and harmonized calendar of events, the Meeting, held in Port Louis, Mauritius on 23rd and 24th July 2015, acknowledged the significant progress made with the formulation of national livestock policy frameworks and legislations in Ghana, Mauritius and Zambia.
The Meeting also appreciates the steps taken by COMESA to formulate a regional livestock policy framework, the content of which was recently reviewed and validated by experts from COMESA’s member states. Furthermore, the Meeting evaluated financial reports and the progress made at ECCAS in the formulation of regional livestock policy frameworks.
Expressing his gratitude to AU-IBAR/VET-GOV Programme for the technical and financial assistances it rendered, Honourable Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, Minister of Agro Industry and Food Security of the Republic of Mauritius, informed the Meeting that the newly validated national policy on National Livestock Development and the new legislation on Veterinary Services will be instrumental to enhance livestock development in Mauritius.
Livestock experts drawn from 20 African nations spearheaded the establishment of the pool of experts which will drive the process of increasing the profile of livestock in national and regional investment portfolios; thereby achieving CAADP’s targets.
In a consultative meeting, organized by AU-IBAR’s VET-GOV Programme, in collaboration with NEPAD Agency, held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 13th to 15th July 2015, a group of experts extensively discussed on the recommendations made by African ministers responsible for animal resources on the significance of an African-led pool of experts to advance livestock sector’s integration in CAADP. Accordingly, the experts laid down the foundations for the realization of the pool, the main role of which will be supporting the mainstreaming of livestock in CAADP at national and regional levels.
During the 3 day meeting, experts discussed on a number of issues, with a focus on CAADP countries’ processes; the role of Livestock Policy Hubs, as well as the existing livestock institutions, networks and alliances, as platforms to foster debate and information exchange in livestock policy and strategy development. At the end, the meeting agreed to strengthen the pool to allow experts stimulate and support learning as well as provide peer-based quality assurance on the processes of mainstreaming of livestock into CAADP. To this end, AU-IBAR, NEPAD and RECs agreed to mobilise communities of practice to ensure broad based information exchange and learning to respond to national and regional needs.
Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries expressed its determination to establish a well-structured and rigorous national animal disease identification and reporting system, which fully recognises the prominent role the livestock keepers can play as primary sources of data and information on animal diseases.
In a two-day consultative workshop organised by AU-IBAR, through its SMP-AH Project, in Kampala, Uganda, on 23rd and 24th July, 2015, participants reiterated the need to put the system in place to ensure an evidence-based decision making, which allow a timely and effective animal disease prevention and control in the country. The workshop, which drew over 60 pertinent stakeholders from the livestock sector, requested AU-IBAR/SMP-AH to speed up the establishment of the system through providing relevant trainings and hardware, supporting awareness creation and experience sharing activities, as well as availing sufficient numbers of SMP manuals. In the same manner, participants have also requested the Ministry to nominate village disease reporters from farmer groups and cooperatives, recruit more veterinary officers, develop a mechanism to allowtwo-way information exchange between various actors and ensure institutionalisation of the system.
In opening the workshop, Dr Wesonga Wanderema, Commissioner for Animal Health at the Ministry, emphasised the need for a strong animal disease reporting system, which entails continuous passive and active surveillance, diagnosis of diseases, and recording of data on the disease situation, to contain existing and emerging livestock diseases which have critical importance to trade and livelihoods services. On her part, Dr Nantima Noelina, Principal Veterinary Epidemiologist at the Ministry, has underlined the importance of the SMPs and syndromic manuals developed by AU-IBAR/SMP-AH Project and urged experts to use it in their daily works of disease surveillance, diagnosis and reporting. On behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR, Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, Dr Joseph Magona has also expressed his firm believe that the Ministry will materialise a robust community-based disease reporting system, based on the syndromic manuals, and create a very workable reporting chain, which is fully integrated with both the national and continental ARIS databases.
Uganda is ready to introduce and enforce Standard Methods and Procedures (SMPs) for primary diseases, including FMD, PPR, RVF and brucellosis across the country. This has been disclosed at a national workshop, convened in Kampala, from 20th to 22nd July 2015.
Revising the status of livestock diseases and delivery of veterinary services in the districts and zones, workshop participants requested the Government of Uganda and AU-IBAR/SMP-AH project to strengthen coordination between Uganda and the neighboring countries in diseases surveillance and quarantine and devise a mechanism to build public awareness in the area of veterinary regulation. They also flagged up the need for strengthening vaccination programmes in border areas, especially along the Uganda-Tanzania border. Finally, participants requested the Ministry to speed up the adoption and implementation of SMPs in the country through supplying of veterinary vaccines, establishing quarantine facilities, increasing provision of logistical supports to districts and ensuring a two way information sharing among key stakeholders in the sector.
In his welcoming address to over 55 workshop participants, Dr Nicholas Kauta, Director of Animal Resources (DAR) for Uganda lamented the fact that Africa’s participation in the global livestock trade has remained less than 2% of the global share and commended stakeholders’ determination to rollout SMP in the nation to improve this gloomy situation. Besides, Dr Kauta has highlighted the significant contribution the SMP-AH project has made so far to enhance Uganda’s livestock trade.
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