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Strengthening Regional Capacities for the Sustainable Use of Animal Genetic Resources in Southern Africa

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© 2014 AU-IBAR. Group photo of all the participants Workshop "Strengthening Regional Capacities for the Sustainable Use of Animal Genetic Resources in Southern Africa".© 2014 AU-IBAR. Group photo of all the participants Workshop "Strengthening Regional Capacities for the Sustainable Use of Animal Genetic Resources in Southern Africa".Introduction

  1. The African Union – Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) organized from 1st – 3rd April 2014 a workshop, focusing on strengthening institutional capacity for the management of animal genetic resources in Southern Africa.
  2. The workshop was organized in the framework of the implementation of the Project "Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of African Animal Genetic Resources".
  3. The workshop aimed at launching the process of establishing a Sub-Regional Focal Point for Animal Genetic Resources in Southern Africa as part of the implementation of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources.
  4. The meeting was attended by 11 countries from Southern Africa region, Sub-Regional Research Organizations (CCARDESA), International Research Institutions (ILRI), FAO and Civil Society Organizations.
  5. The opening ceremony was chaired by Dr Simplice Nouala, Chief Animal Production Officer representing the Director of AU-IBAR. In his welcome remarks Dr Nouala mentioned that the Global Plan of Action clearly highlights the important roles of Regional Focal Points (RFP) and regional networks in building collaborative partnerships, coordinating regional efforts, facilitating the exchange of information and promoting technical cooperation, training and research in the management of AnGR. Recalling the past experiences of Southern, West and Central Africa, and much recently of Eastern Africa, Dr Nouala suggested to re-think the way to set an operational Sub-Regional Focal Point for Southern Africa. AU-IBAR as the continental institution of the African Union mandated to promote the utilization of animal resources to achieve food security, improved livelihoods and reduce poverty will do whatever is necessary to encourage African Member States to fulfill their obligations to the Global Plan of Action and show the world Africa's commitment to this cause.
  6. Mr. Sikosana, Director Division of Livestock Research of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, welcomed the participants to the workshop. He stressed on the importance of livestock and AnGR to livestock keepers and the World as a whole. He extended his appreciation to partners, such as AU-IBAR, FAO and ILRI who support AnGR initiatives. Referring to the establishment of the Sub-Regional Focal Point for Southern Africa, he insisted on the need for the region to have a body that will guide and coordinate AnGR initiatives in the region. Mr Sikosana, before declaring the workshop open, thanked sincerely AU-IBAR and FAO for choosing Harare to be the host City for the workshop.
  7. Dr. P. Boettcher, from FAO Rome, welcomed participants to Harare, on behalf of the Country Representative for FAO in Zimbabwe. He mentioned that the workshop is part of ongoing cooperation between FAO and AU-IBAR. The attendance by NGOs, civil society and Research institutions show the importance of the workshop. He also recalled the importance of AnGR to Agriculture and their contribution to income generation and livelihoods. With regards to the establishment of the Regional and Sub-Regional Focal points, he stressed first on the importance and insisted that Africa was the only region with formal basis of establishment of Sub-Regional-Focal Points compare with other regions, thanks to AU-IBAR who took up this role of Regional Focal Point. Dr. Boettcher concluded on the importance of having the S-RFP anchored in regional Institutions.
  8. The following presentations were made in plenary:
    1. Status of implementation of the GPA in Africa by FAO;
    2. Status of implementation of AU-IBAR activities on AnGR in Africa by AU-IBAR,
    3. Synthesis of the electronic discussion on the status of the activities in AnGR in Southern Africa, by Mr. C. Okore, National Coordinator for Kenya;
    4. Regional priorities identified during the meeting in Gaborone, Botswana in November 2013, by AU-IBAR;
    5. Review of Country activities, projects and progress realized in AnGR management in the last 10 years, by the National Coordinators representing the Member States, using a template shared prior to the workshop;
    6. Roles and responsibilities of National, Regional and Global Focal Points for the Management of AnGR by FAO;
    7. Synthesis of the electronic discussion on the Sub Regional priorities for sustainable management of animal genetic resources by Mr. C. Okore;
    8. Lessons learnt from the now defunct S-RFP for Southern Africa, by CCARDESA;
    9. "Information Solution" by Thato Supang from Agribusiness Forum Database Botswana.
  9. 9. The group discussions were organized around the following issues:
    1. Sub Regional priorities for sustainable management of animal genetic resources and the action plan to handle them,
    2. Structure and institutional arrangements for the S-RFP for Southern Africa,
    3. Membership of the Steering Committee;
    4. Road Map for establishment of a Sub-Regional Focal Point,
    5. Election of an Interim Steering Committee that will supervise the implementation of the S-RFP,
    6. The priorities for the S-RFP.

Outcomes of the Workshop

  1. Regional priorities for AnGR in Southern Africa: The participants agreed on the following regional priorities for the management of AnGR in Southern Africa:
    • Establish Regional Policy and institutional frameworks for the management of AnGR in Southern Africa;
    • Establish a database/Information system for the management of AnGR;
    • Build institutional and HR capacity for the management of AnGR;
    • Support conservation initiatives;
    • Support AnGR research initiatives.
  2. Structure and institutional arrangement for the S-RFP: The participants agreed for the SRFP for Southern Africa a structure comprised of a Secretariat, a Sub-regional Coordination, a Steering committee and Specific Task Forces.
  3. CCADERSA as a host institution also mentioned the commitment to provide an interim sub-regional coordinator and an office space to start.
  4. The Membership of the Steering Committee concluded to 13 members composed of 4 National Coordinators, a representative of Breeders Associations in the region, a representative of SADC, a representative of COMESA, a representative of CCARDESA, a representative of NGOs/CSOs and 4 technical institutions (FAO, AU-IBAR, ILRI and RUFORUM).
  5. An Interim Steering Committee (ISC) was elected. The following countries and institutions will compose the ISC: Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, CCARDESA, FAO, ILRI, AU-IBAR and one Breeders' Association. The ISC will be chaired by Zambia with Namibia as Deputy Chair and CCARDESA as Secretary.
  6. The Road map for the establishment of the S-RFP was developed following the steps in the FAO guidelines, with formal establishment foreseen by August - September 2014.
  7. From the Regional priorities, the participants prioritised the activities in short term, medium term and the long term to be considered by the S-RFP.
  8. Recommendations
    1. It was recommended that 4 members of the ISC attend the CCARDESA AGM in May 2014. The CCARDESA-appointed acting Sub-Regional coordinator will meet with the ISC members and discuss the road map and way forward.
    2. AU-IBAR will draft a Letter of Agreement with CCARDESA on the modalities of hosting the S-RFP secretariat.

Files:
Final Communique - Strengthening Regional Capacities for the Sustainable Use of Animal Genetic Resources in Southern Africa
Date 2014-04-10 Language  English Filesize 186.68 KB