19th April, 2016 – Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Background and Workshop Context
Promoted by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) pesticide use will grow in Africa over the next few years as one of the most efficient means to eliminate pests and improve crop production and productivity. Auxiliary uses of pesticides and other agro-chemicals will also grow such as use in apiculture.
There is a legitimate need for pesticides and government equity in their promotion since Africa is reliant on raw material production which forms much of the tradeable products that are key export revenue earners. However, the use of pesticides will remain highly contested with the debate centered on the possible benefits versus the potential impact on human health, non-target insects and the environment.
Although Africa still has low levels of use, many of the problems are related to poor regulation and enforcement with rampant use of illegal and banned substances, low research and development, poor utilization and management by users and poor monitoring of residue levels and other impacts. While governance of pesticide regulation has improved over the last decades, there is yet varied capability among African countries and a pervading ignorance among both users and the general populace of the potential negative effects of poor handling and use.
AU-IAPSC under its African Union mandate as the continental plant protection organization initiated a process to harmonize pesticide regulation in Africa. The process commenced in 2009 with a survey on the legal and institutional frameworks for plant protection and the use of chemicals in selected pilot countries of the continent. This was followed by a number of consultative processes which cumulated in the writing of the first draft in June 2012 in Alexandria, Egypt which was thereafter reviewed by at an Expert Meeting in July 2012, and finalized in October 2013 in Tunis, Tunisia in preparation for the final phase of continental validation.
- The 1st Continental Symposium on honey production, bee health and pollination services in Africa was held at the Safir Hotel, Cairo Egypt from 6-8 September, 2015.
- The specific objectives of the Symposium were to provide an opportunity for highlighting recent developments, exchanging knowledge and new ideas between MS representatives of the relevant ministries, CVOs, beekeepers, representatives of national beekeepers associations, scientific research community, legal experts on honeybee production, bee health and pollination services in a stimulating environment.
- The Workshop was attended by 101 participants including Member States, Regional Economic Communities, private sector practitioners, eminent scientist s and researchers, and sector experts. Forty Member States, four RECs and international organizations were represented. Member States represented included Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Maurtania, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There was also representation from Germany. RECs in attendance were COMESA, IGAD, ECCAS, CEBEVIRHA. AU technical agencies included AU-IAPSC and AU-IBAR. There was a strong attendance from the Arab Beekeepers Union and the host country.
- Opening Ceremony: Dr. Simplice Nouala, Chief Animal Production Officer AU-IBAR Introduced the Symposium by welcoming participants and highlighting the need for participants to reflect on the Symposium theme of the Future of the African Honeybee within the context of Africa’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda which set out the aspirations of Africa’s political leadership for the continents agricultural sector development over the next decade. Dr. Nouala also outlined the objectives and structure of the Symposium. This was followed by a Welcome Speech by Prof Ahmed A. El-Sawalhy, Director of the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). The workshop was officially opened by the representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of Egypt, Prof. Abdelmenem El Bana.
- The First Plenary Session was a platform for two keynote addresses that set the scene of the rest of the workshop. The keynote by Dr. Wolfgang Ritter on Bee Diseases: Examining Options for their Management gave an overview of honeybee diseases on the African continent, and an analysis of the impact of diseases of global economic importance on the African honeybee with the observation that while these diseases such as American foul brood have been present in the continent for a long time, they do not impact on African honey bee population in the catastrophic proportions evident in other regions. He emphasized the need for Africa to examine and replace some of the traditional beekeeping practices such as night harvesting that mask diseases, and to develop its own surveillance systems and to base models for response on a deeper understanding of the African honeybee and the management practices on the continent rather than indiscriminate adoption of practices from other regions. The second keynote by Prof. Peter Kofi Kwapong on the Bee Pollination Industry in Africa: Status, Challenges and Options for Enhancement underlined the fact that growth and harnessing of Africa’s honey bees is imperative if Africa is to feed her growing population. The presentation outlined the important roles of the honey bee in crop, livestock and natural ecosystems, and focused on the Global Apiculture Pollinator Initiative which facilitates awareness raising, networking and policy engagement, with projects in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. He emphasized the need for Africa to conduct research and generate data to understand the African honeybee and harness it for pollination, and for integration of the beekeeping and crop sectors, and for policies and incentives to promote pollinator friendly practices.
- Terms of Reference of the Parallel Sessions. Dr. Simplice Nouala provided guidelines for the three parallel sessions: Parallel Session I: Trade and Market Access and Impact of Environmental Stresses. Parallel Session II: Honey Bee Diseases and Capacity, Technology Development and Transfer and lastly Parallel Session III: Beekeeping Industry in Africa, Policy, Institutional Environment & Livelihoods, and Pollination Industry. The aim of the parallel sessions was to create space for delivery of presentations on focused topical areas, engagement and discussion. Group work would focus on capturing areas where there was knowledge and the enablers were known and which could easily be leveraged for the development of the sector; areas where information was lacking, highlighting the gaps; and priority areas for action.
|Communiqué - The 1st Continental Symposium on Honey Production, Bee Health And Pollination Services In Africa, 6-8 September, 2015|
|2015-09-17 English 267.85 KB|
Nairobi, Kenya. Monday 3 November, 2014. Scientists in a new, world-class laboratory in Kenya will work to protect Africa's bees and help farmers produce top-quality honey and wax for international markets. Located at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Nairobi, Kenya, it will improve our understanding of these unique creatures and boost food security by protecting these important pollinators.
Launched today at an event attended by Ambassadors, High Commissioners, government officials and dignitaries from Africa, Europe and around the world, the African Reference Laboratory for Bee Health is the centrepiece of a three-year project funded by the European Union in Kenya worth Kshs 1.7 billion (€14.7 million). It was constructed with the support of icipe's core donors: The German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Government of Kenya, the Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and UK Aid.
In Africa and worldwide, bees are crucial for agriculture and the environment. More than 70% of the world's major crops rely on bee pollination to produce fruits and seeds. Bees also provide much-needed extra income for smallholder farmers, who sell honey, wax and other products.
However, honeybee populations across the world are struggling to overcome attacks from parasites such as the varroa mite and infection with diseases, as well as the dreaded Colony Collapse Disorder that has decimated bee populations in the USA and parts of Europe. The laboratory will endeavour to understand and prevent these problems from taking hold in Africa.
"Bees and other pollinators are significant contributors to food security and ecosystem health. Bees improve the environment and they do not prey on any other species. Aside from crops, bees also pollinate grasses and forage plants, therefore contributing indirectly to meat and milk production," said Dr Segenet Kelemu, Director General and CEO of icipe.