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Communique - The Third General Assembly of the African Apiculture Platform on Honey Production, Bee Health and Pollination Services

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© 2016 AU-IBAR. Group Photo.© 2016 AU-IBAR. Group Photo.Background

The Third General Assembly of the African Apiculture Platform (AAP) on Honey Production, Bee Health and Pollination Services, was held from 21st-23rd September 2016 at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village, Kigali, Rwanda. The theme of the General Assembly was “Promoting Intra and Inter Regional Trade of Honey and Other Beehive Products in Africa”. This theme is well aligned to the Malabo Declaration Agricultural Transformation Agenda which aims to triple intra-African trade as a means to address food insecurity and youth unemployment, and to increase incomes and economic growth.

The AAP is a multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) facilitated by the African Union-InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), which is mandated to provide leadership in the development of Africa’s animal resources. The AAP draws on the convening power of the African Union to bring key public sector actors i.e.., AU Member States (MS) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on to the same forum with the private sector, beekeeper associations, non-governmental organizations, and academia and research institutions and consumer bodies. This gives the Platform legitimacy, unprecedented leverage, and a strong mandate for substantive agenda setting, information and knowledge exchange, policy reform, and advocacy. Key objectives of the AAP are facilitating collaboration of stakeholders, advocating for an enabling policy framework for the sector and for increased public and private investment, and promoting knowledge sharing, capacity development and partnership development.

The General Assembly, which is the main forum of the AAP, brings all members and caucuses of the Platform together and is the main forum of the AAP at which issues are discussed/ debated on, and where the key decisions are made and coordinated actions for implementation of the decisions agreed among all sector actors.

The 3rd General Assembly of the AAP was held as a joint event with ApiExpo Africa 2016, a private sector led initiative under ApiTrade Africa which was meeting under the theme “Driving Socio-Economic Transformation in Africa: the Role of Commercial Beekeeping”.

The Government of the Republic of Rwanda hosted both events at the same venue providing an opportunity for cross-interaction and resulting in greater dialogue between state and non-state actors.

The General Assembly was attended by ninety-six (96) delegates from forty (40) African Union Member States: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia (The), Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Four Regional Economic Communities attended: Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Arab Maghreb Union (UMA).

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Communiqué - The Third Executive Committee and Working Group Meeting of the African Apiculture Platform on Honey Production, Bee Health and Pollination Services

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© 2016 AU-IBAR. African Apiculture Platform (AAP) on Honey Production, Bee Health and Pollination Services at New Africa Hotel, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 6th-8th June 2016.© 2016 AU-IBAR. African Apiculture Platform (AAP) on Honey Production, Bee Health and Pollination Services at New Africa Hotel, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 6th-8th June 2016.Background

The Third Executive Committee and Working Group Meeting of the African Apiculture Platform (AAP) on Honey Production, Bee Health and Pollination Services was held from 6th to 8th June at the New Africa Hotel in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. The AAP is the pivotal continental apiculture multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) that brings together sector actors with the goal of elevating the apiculture sector across the continent. Key objectives of the AAP are facilitating collaboration of stakeholders, advocating for an enabling policy framework for the sector, advocating for increased public and private investment, knowledge sharing, capacity development and partnership building.

Facilitated by the African Union-InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), which is mandated to provide leadership in the development of Africa’s animal resources, the AAP draws on the convening power of the African Union to bring key public sector actors i.e.., AU Member States (MS) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on to the same forum with private sector, beekeeper associations, non-governmental organizations, and academia and research institutions among other key caucuses. This gives the Platform legitimacy, unprecedented leverage, and a strong mandate for substantive agenda setting, policy reform, decision making and advocacy.

The Executive Committee, a twenty-seven person body representative of the main caucuses in the Platform, is vested with the leadership of the Platform, and executing the decisions and recommendations of the General Assembly. Three permanent expert Working Groups, the Bee Health Working Group, the Production, Marketing and Technologies Working Group, and the Pollination Services and Biodiversity Working Group are mandated to advice the AAP on strategic issues of import to the Platform.

The Meeting was attended by 40 delegates from 21 Member States: Algeria, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The Purpose of the Meeting was to consolidate the work of the Platform for 2016, streamlining the work plans of the EC and WGs in alignment with the decisions and recommendations of the General Assembly, and the specific terms of reference of the organs.

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Communiqué - Rwanda National Training of Trainers on Honey Production, Safe Handling of Bee Hives, Development of Bee Hive Products, Bees Disease Control and Pollination Services

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The Mirror Hotel, 9-11 May, Kigali, Rwanda

Background and Context of Training Workshop

Rwanda, in its Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture in Rwanda Phase (PSTA III 2013) recognized the apiculture as a priority value chain due to multiple contributions to food security, nutrition, employment, rural incomes and biodiversity conservation. The Government has put in place an enabling policy, legal and regulatory framework including the National Beekeeping Strategy and a Ministerial Order to enhance sector regulation. A National Forum of Beekeeping in Rwanda was also established. With a production base of over 30,000 producers with over 90,000 largely traditional hives, the sector remains underdeveloped with significant untapped potential. Rwanda has the opportunity to export honey to lucrative European Union (EU) markets given approval of it residue monitoring plan in 2014. While there is some export, it is limited and uneven, with producers unable to meet even local demand, underscoring the huge untapped potential of the sector. The PSTA III outlines strategies to increase production, development of honey and wax value chains and enhance capacity for quality processing to meet export standards.

The African Union- InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) which is mandated to provide leadership in the development of Africa’s animal resources is implementing a continental project “The African Reference Laboratory for the Management of Pollinator Bee Diseases and Pests for Food Security. This Project, which is a collaborative effort with the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) funded by the European Union is structured to generate new knowledge to control bee diseases and pests and package the information for more efficient knowledge management, awareness building to elevate the profile of the sector, and provide policy makers and regulators with advice with the aim of harmonizing procedures and legislation relating to bee health issues at national, regional and continental levels. In addition the Project aims to utilize the information generated and the knowledge systems developed to enhance the capacity of beekeepers and other sector actors, and of extensions workers to utilize improved bee health technologies and innovations. It will also promote timely collection, analysis and sharing of bee health information as it pertains to sustenance of bee populations, impacts on production, quality and safety of products for human consumption.