The 8th Panafrican meeting of OIE Delegates, Directors of Veterinary Services and Chief Veterinary Officers is organized by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources, technical office of the Department for Rural Economy and Agriculture with the aim to prepare coordinated positions on draft OIE standards proposed for adoption during the 84th Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates.
Opening the forum, H.E Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, reiterated: that the PAN-SPSO Project that ended on 31st December aimed to facilitate the effective participation of African countries in the activities of the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), during the formulation of international standards for terrestrial and aquatic animal health, plant health, and food safety”, is the symbol of the intention of the department for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission, to improve the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) capacity of the AU Member States. The Secretariat for Standards and Trade has taken up PANSPSO’s core activities. The funding of the Secretariat is assured by the AU Member States budget which concretizes my statement above on the responsibility of my Department in activities related to sanitary and phytosanitary matters;
H.E. Tumusiime stressed the OIE Delegates to:
- collaborate with the national coordinating SPS committees or in short the national SPS Committees, and seek for a sustainable mechanism of funding the national consultations for building common positions and the participation of all national delegates in the international SPS meetings. She also referred to the common positions taken by African governments towards COP21; which helped them to negotiate as an entity.
- update the veterinary legislation to reflect the changes that happen in the sanitary domain in order to allow safe trade of livestock and livestock commodities.
- engage in and to support the Continental and Regional free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations in order, among others, to promote the intra and interregional trade of the livestock and fisheries sectors in Africa for which the demand is constantly growing;
25th-27th August, 2015. Nairobi, Kenya.
The African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in its effort to improve participation of African countries at the WTO –SPS COMMITTEE meetings and implementation of SPS Agreement has been conducting sensitization workshops. Three workshops have been conducted namely in Harare (2013), Nairobi (2014) and Geneva (March, 2015). The workshops have resulted in increased active participation of African countries at the WTO- SPS committee meeting and improved compliance to the transparency provisions of the SPS agreement.
This report covers activities that were conducted at the fourth workshop, which was held in Nairobi from the 25th-27th of August 2015.Participants included representation from 16 countries namely: Madagascar, Mozambique, Seychelles, Benin, Comoros, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea equatorial, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Zambia and Burkina Faso.
The objectives of the meeting were as follows
- Improve knowledge and understanding by participants of the provisions of the SPS Agreement of the WTO on transparency.
- Improve knowledge and mastering of the main transparency tools (SPS –IMS, SPS-NSS).
- Improve the participation of African countries in the activities of the SPS Committee of the WTO in general and its meetings, in particular.
- Enhance the capacity of the African countries to resolve trade disputes in the SPS domain.
The trainers were national officers who have received training both from AU-IBAR and WTO. Various activities were conducted some of which include the sensitization of participants on the SPS agreement and its key provisions, principles of negotiating, introduction to the SPS information management system (SPS-IMS) and an interactive session in which participants shared their national experiences in the implementation of the transparency provisions of the SPS agreement, challenges and possible solutions.
AU-IBAR emphasised the need for countries to prioritize notifications to the WTO through the NNA and disseminate this information to concerned parties.
Countries lacking NNA were encouraged to establish the notification authorities and seek assistance for technical support from the bureau.
FAO/AU-IBAR Technical Workshop. Nairobi, 27 - 31 October, 2014. The workshop on "Enhancement of Early Warning Systems for Food Safety in Eastern Africa", jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) took place at the JACARANDA hotel in Nairobi from 27 to 31 October, 2014.
Experts in food, agriculture, public and veterinary health from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania Uganda, Makarere University, Nairobi University as well as representatives from IGAD, AU-IBAR, AU- PACA , OIE, ILRI, WB, WHO, and FAO participated in the meeting. The workshop was organized with the technical support and participation of experts from Cranfield University (UK) and the Institute of Coastal Health in Canada.
The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Murithi Mbabu, representing the State Department of Livestock of Kenya followed by remarks from Dr. Raphael Coly, from AU-IBAR and Mr. Robert Alport, on behalfthe FAO Representative in Kenya.
Following the decision of the African Union Commission to establish the African Union Food Safety Management Coordination Mechanism and Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), FAO and AU-IBAR are cooperating with other international organizations to support country and regional capacities aimed at effective implementation of the AU decisions.