AU-IBAR celebrates 60 Years of fighting Rinderpest and coordinating the Protection and Development of Animal Resources in Africa
The African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) celebrated its 60 years of existence, the eradication of Rinderpest in Africa and the protection and development of animal resources on the continent on January 16th. The one-day ceremony, which was attended by dignitaries from African Union Member States and international partners, including Kenya’s Minister for Livestock Development Mohamed Kuti, was a marker to showcase the important milestones that AU-IBAR has achieved in the last six decades on the continent since its inception in 1951.
Dubbed “From Rinderpest Eradication to Providing Leadership in the Development of Animal Resources for Africa”, the anniversary was also a platform to chart a way forward for the organization in terms of evaluating the Strategic Plan 2010-2014 and recommendations on future programmes and projects and action. The theme reflected the fact that even though the organization started with the mandate to fight Rinderpest in Africa, presently, it now coordinates the development and utilization of animal resources for human well-being and economic development of AU Member States.
|Kenya’s Minister for Livestock Development, Dr. Mohamed Abdi Kuti meets other dignitaries at the celebrations|
Kenya’s Minister for Livestock Development, Dr. Mohamed Abdi Kuti stated that “Kenya has seen AU-IBAR’s evolution from its initial mandate of fighting Rinderpest on the continent to its expanded scope of covering all animal health issues and resources towards overall economic development of the continent. To date, AU-IBAR remains the only African institution with the continent-wide mandate to mobilize the full productive potential of livestock, fisheries and wildlife as resources for human well-being and economic development. He added that “the Kenya Veterinary Services and livestock producers in the country continue to benefit from the expertise drawn from all over Africa in the field of animal disease control, courtesy of AU-IBAR.”
The Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, when presiding over the ceremony, underlined that “Since its inception, AU-IBAR has undergone several institutional transformations from an organization focused on fighting one disease to a wider scope of the whole animal health sector and now to an organization dedicated to all aspects of animal resources development in the continent. The institution has undertaken a range of activities within its scope and mandate for the benefit of AU Member States with its leadership and commitment in the development of the continent.”
Prof. Ahmed El-Sawalhy, the AU-IBAR Director said that “AU-IBAR was established six decades ago after a recommendation of the African Rinderpest Conference held in Nairobi in 1948, to assess the Rinderpest situation on the continent. But after a series of evaluations over the years, AU-IBAR now covers all aspects of animal health, resources and development that include animal production and trade and marketing.”
The occasion was marked by the unveiling of a symbolic statue in the AU-IBAR premises as well as the launch of a Coffee Table Book which documents the evolution of the institution since its inception in 1951 to date.
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