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;
Concluding her remarks, she encouraged the Delegates to own the Agenda 2063 of the African Union adopted by the Heads of States during the 50th Anniversary of the Founding of OAU/AU precisely during the 21st Ordinary Session of Assembly of Heads of States and made the following citation “Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. It builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development”.
The strengthening of Africa’s common voice and policy is a key element among others in the Agenda 2063 and African Union is tasked to implement it.
The opening of the meeting had a high level panel comprising 41 Directors of Veterinary Services from Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, 5 representatives of COMESA, EAC, ECOWAS, ECCAS and IGAD, and AU-IBAR, AU-PATTEC, AU-PANVAC, as well as representatives of the European Commission, FAO and OIE.
The three-day meeting is expected to come up with the adoption of common positions on animal health standards of the World Organization of Animal Health.