Current Programmes and Projects

SMP-AH

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Communiqué - Inter-Regional Conference to Promote Safe and Stable Livestock Trade Between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East

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© 2015 AU-IBAR. Sheep in a livestock market in Sudan.© 2015 AU-IBAR. Sheep in a livestock market in Sudan.22nd - 24th November, 2015, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Countries in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA), with support from AU-IBAR, ICPALD, USAID and EU, have been undertaking measures to enhance prevention and control of animal diseases. The intention is to guarantee disease free livestock exports to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

There have been periodic opportunities to reflect on enhancing safe trade in livestock and livestock products between GHoA and the MENA. This has been through two previous forums:

  1. Livestock Stakeholders in Animal Health Certification and Trade, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2-3 August 2010; and
  2. Enhancing Safe Inter-Regional Livestock Trade: Risk-Based Approaches to Livestock Certification and Harmonized Control of Trade-Related Transboundary Animal Diseases; June 13-16, 2011, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

To further strengthen the modalities for sustaining and enhancing safe trade in livestock commodities between the two regions, this third forum was convened given the increasing recognition of the importance of market oriented livestock production.

These modalities aim at preventing livestock trade disruptions occasioned by import bans by Middle East Countries as previously experienced during outbreaks of transboundary animal diseases (TADs), especially Rift Valley Fever (RVF). Previous livestock import bans by Middle East countries resulted in informal live animal trade. This posed major health risks to human and animal populations in the importing countries. Hence, the modalities will also explore joint management approaches to counter factors that would lead to trade bans.

The forum is jointly organized by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID, Kenya and East Africa) through the Standard Methods and Procedures Project (SMP-AH) and the European Union (EU) through the Enhancing Somali Livestock trade (ESOLT).

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Press Release - Livestock trade stakeholders from the Greater Horn of Africa and the Middle East meet to agree on modalities to promote safe and stable livestock trade between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East

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Countries in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA), with support from AU-IBAR, ICPALD, USAID and EU, are undertaking measures to enhance prevention and control of animal diseases. The intention is guarantee disease free livestock exports to the Middle East and North Africa.

© 2015 AU-IBAR. Sheep and goats in a livestock quarantine station in Berbera, Somaliland.© 2015 AU-IBAR. Sheep and goats in a livestock quarantine station in Berbera, Somaliland.DUBAI (23rd November 2015)- With increased recognition of the importance of market oriented livestock production, especially in GHoA pastoral areas , livestock stakeholders from the GHoA and the Middle East are meeting this week to agree on modalities for sustaining and enhancing safe trade in livestock commodities between the two regions. The modalities aim at preventing livestock trade disruptions occasioned by import bans by Middle East Countries as previously experienced during outbreaks of transboundary animal diseases (TADs), especially Rift Valley Fever (RVF). Previous livestock import bans by Middle East countries resulted in informal live animal trade. This posed major health risks to human and animal populations in the importing countries. Hence, the modalities will also explore joint management approaches to counter factors that would lead to trade bans.

TADs, some of which have a public health impact, such as Rift Valley Fever (RVF), are a major challenge to livestock production, marketing and trade. They also decrease resilience of vulnerable households especially women and youth in arid and semi-arid lands of GHoA.

The forum is jointly organized by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID, Kenya and East Africa) through the Standard Methods and Procedures Project (SMP-AH) and the European Union (EU) through the Enhancing Somali Livestock trade (ESOLT).

The conference was officially opened by Madame Majd Al-Herbawi, Director Animal Health and Development, Ministry of Environment and Water, United Arab Emirates. She informed the participants that the UAE is a regional hub of livestock trade and her Ministry was therefore keen on updating animal health measures to stabilise the trade. She informed the meeting that her government had adopted a number of measures such as the ‘National Agenda for Animal Health’ and hoped that the recommendations of the meeting would contribute towards the achievement of the objects of the agenda.

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Veterinary experts validate standard methods and procedures in animal health at workshop held at AU-IBAR, Nairobi, Kenya, 30th July to 1st August, 2014

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© 2014 AU-IBAR. Participants of the SMP validation workshop held at AU-IBAR, Nairobi, Kenya, 30th July-1st August, 2014.© 2014 AU-IBAR. Participants of the SMP validation workshop held at AU-IBAR, Nairobi, Kenya, 30th July-1st August, 2014.Transboundary animal diseases (TADs) remain one of the major challenges to livestock trade in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA) region. To address these challenges, AU-IBAR and IGAD, with financial support from USAID are implementing the Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health (SMP-AH) project in nine countries in the GHoA namely Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The project is aimed at harmonizing procedures for detection of and response to specified trade‐significant TADs among participating countries so as to provide regional uniformity through the use of the Standard Methods and Procedures approach.

A three- day workshop was held from 30th July to 1st August 2014 to validate four SMPs developed by the project. The main objective of the workshop was: To consider, enrich and validate the SMPs of PPR, FMD, Brucellosis and RVF to ensure that they add value to national and regional disease surveillance and control in support of enhanced regional and inter-regional trade in livestock. As well as discussing the four SMPs, the workshop also helped to create awareness and foster networking of veterinary experts from the GHoA in support of cooperative and collaborative regional control of the TADs.

The workshop was officially opened by Dr Juma Ngeiywa, the Director, Veterinary Services, Kenya, who emphasized the need for the IGAD region and participating Member States on the project to have a unified approach to TADs control. He highlighted the challenges of livestock resources in Kenya as transboundary diseases, livestock raids and lack of vaccination. Dr. Baba Soumare, Chief Animal Health Officer - AU-IBAR, representing the Director of AU-IBAR, Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of livestock resources to the GHoA. Estimated at about 438 million ruminants, livestock resources contribute significantly to the region's economies, food security, livelihoods and poverty reduction. Dr Soumare cited several challenges that hamper development of the livestock sector in Africa including poor policy environment, recurrent droughts, animal diseases and failure to meet SPS standards as required by trading partners. Outlining the purpose of the SMP-AH Project in controlling livestock diseases and ultimately promoting livestock trade in the GHoA region, he acknowledged the financial support of USAID to AU-IBAR and the partnerships of FAO-ECTAD, IGAD and OIE in implementing the project. Dr. Ameha Sebsibe, representing the Director ICPALD-IGAD reported that IGAD was ready and willing to support the implementation of SMPs. Mr. Isaac Thendiu, the USAID representative, urged the SMP-AH project to produce products that would withstand the competing needs for funding and translate into tangible benefits for communities. He emphasized the need to expedite the implementation of country activity plans.

A total of 40 participants came from the GHoA countries, namely Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. AU-IBAR, AU-PANVAC, FAO-ECTAD, ICPALD-IGAD and the OIE also participated. The technical experts included Chief Veterinary Officers, the SMP Technical Working Group and national implementation teams.