The project is generally on track towards achieving its objectives as outlined in the project document. The project provides the various stakeholders and beneficiaries with opportunities to gain valuable experience and expertise in the effective management of animal genetic resources. The project which has entered the implementation phase has so far made some significant strides. For example, the project has promoted and presented a strong position of African countries on issues relating to AnGR. The timely submission of Country Reports by African countries was highly commendable. Africa’s submissions represented a third of all the reports that fed into the preparation of the Second State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources Report. Africa indeed left a “strong genetic footprint” on the Second State of the World’s AnGR report.
Issues of policies and legislation were discussed at the various stakeholder workshops. Existing policies, legislative and regulatory frameworks were highlighted and some gaps and potential interventions were identified. This will contribute to the creation of enabling environments for the management of animal genetic resources in African countries. Some national gene banks across Africa were assessed and proposed to serve as regional gene banks. The project has initiated the assessment of the legal environment for the exchange and movement of animal genetic materials as well as stock-taking of the challenges and constraints in the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in African countries since its ratification. The Project worked in conjunction with Member States to establish Sub-regional Focal Points (S-RFPs) for AnGR in all five regions of the continent. To ensure ownership, relevance and sustainability, the S-RFPs are anchored in existing Sub-Regional Research and Development Organizations.
Other achievements included the stablished a regional Network and Community of Practice for information sharing, lessons learning and coordination of AnGR initiatives on the continent; initiatives to harmonize AnGR tools including identification of suitable characterization, inventory and monitoring tools for use within the continent; establishment of an AnGR Taxonomy Advisory Group for Africa and production of revised characterization, inventory and monitoring tools’ guidelines tailored to suit the continent’s peculiarities and uniqueness. The African Animal Genetic Resources Information System (AAGRIS) hosted as a module within ARIS2 is envisioned as a “one-stop-shop” for AnGR that will allow a wide range of end-users, particularly policy makers, to access knowledge, information and data as robust evidence to inform decision-making processes, especially on policies and legislation. AAGRIS will also raise awareness and promote best practice in management of AnGR on the continent.