A national SMP roll-out workshop for Tanzania was held at Royal Village Hotel in Dodoma, Tanzania from 5th to 8th May 2015 to roll-out ready SMPs for FMD, PPR, RVF and brucellosis to veterinary stakeholders in the public and private sectors engaged in livestock and wildlife within Tanzania for purposes of creating awareness and initiating implementation. The workshop attracted 60 participants from Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development at the Headquarters, Zonal Veterinary Centres, Regions and Local Government Authorities, Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Veterinary Council of Tanzania, Tanzania National Parks, Tanzania Meat Board, AU-IBAR and IGAD.
In his welcome remarks, Dr Joseph Masambu, on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency (TVLA), welcomed participants and Dr Joseph Magona representing AU-IBAR and the SMPAH project. He stressed the importance of the laboratory as a tool for disease surveillance and disease control. He appreciated the key benefits accruing from the project such as capacity building in disease surveillance, epidemiological investigations and reporting, laboratory management, and development of SMPs for nine priority TADs. He highlighted the role of laboratories in disease surveillance and control and the role TVLA plays in the implementation of SMP-AH Project in Tanzania.
In his remarks, Dr Joseph Magona, on behalf of the Director, AU-IBAR, Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, thanked the Government of Tanzania in general and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development for organizing the SMP roll-out workshop for Tanzania. He noted the huge livestock resource in countries in the Greater Horn of Africa, including Tanzania and the challenge of transboundary animal diseases (TADs) that continues to affect livestock production and trade in the region. He stressed that the SMP roll-out workshop was intended to disseminate ready SMPs, namely, FMD, PPR, RVF and brucellosis to all national stakeholders in order to initiate implementation at national level. He hoped that all livestock stakeholders in Tanzania would embrace the implementation of the SMPs during implementation of disease control programmes and regulation of trade in livestock and livestock products.
In a bid to regionally harmonize the differing and sometimes conflicting animal health regulations in countries in the Greater Horn of Africa, namely, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, the Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health (SMPAH) project has developed Standard Methods and Procedures (SMPs) - guidelines for the prevention and control of nine priority trans-boundary diseases. Accordingly, a workshop was held at Naivasha from 23rd to 25th March 2015 with the main objective of enriching and validating SMPs for Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), Sheep and Goat Pox (SGP), Camelpox (CP), Rinderpest (RP) and one for Export Quarantines. A total of 31 participants drawn from Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), African Union Pan African Vaccine Centre (AU-PANVAC), IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), FAO and ILRI attended the meeting.
In his welcome remarks, Dr. James Wabacha on behalf of the Director, AU-IBAR – Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, highlighted the project's achievements for the year 2014, noting that four SMPs for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), Rift Valley Fever (RVF) and Brucellosis had already been validated and published and were ready for dissemination. He thanked IGAD/ICPAD, OIE, FAO, ILRI, AU-PANVAC and MS for their continued support and commitment to the project implementation, and USAID for its financial support. He attributed the success of the project to the collective responsibility of all players in the project and cautioned participants to ensure that they roll-out validated SMPs to fit in their country's specific needs. In addition, participants were informed about the Livestock Development Strategy for Africa (LiDeSA) -a twenty-year strategy spearheaded by AU-IBAR and other technical offices of the African Union Commission (AUC). He noted that the strategy was developed in a bid to address existing gaps in the exploitation of the existing livestock potential in Africa. Hence LiDeSA was developed to help transform the livestock sector in Africa.
The countries of the Greater Horn of Africa region are high producers of livestock, which contribute significantly to their economies. To stimulate investment in trade in livestock and livestock products at home, the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Developments (ICPALD) in partnership with AU-IBAR organized an experience sharing tour for livestock stakeholders from the public and private sector to Ethiopia from 8th to 14th March 2015.The educational tour of export feedlots, meat plants and other support institutions in Ethiopia was supported by the SMP-AH project and its trade wing-North Eastern Livestock Council (NEALCO). A total of 30 participants drawn from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, NEALCO, AU-IBAR, IGAD/ICPALD and USAID participated in the study tour.
Officiating at the launch of the tour, Dr Solomon Munyua, the Acting Director of ICPALD remarked: "The exchange visit will allow countries to learn from their neighbours, particularly Ethiopia that has been successful in exporting livestock and livestock products. This visit avails an opportunity for other countries to learn from the Ministries of Agriculture and Trade and the private sector how to organize the export trade".
In his remarks, Dr Wabacha, on behalf of the AU-IBAR, pointed out that the Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health (SMPAH) project engaged the entire livestock value-chain in order to assist in coordination of disease management and livestock marketing. He advised other countries to learn from Ethiopia and implement the same at home.
Mr Isaac Thendiu, representing USAID, emphasized the need for such learning opportunities to translate into useful applications that benefit common people in respective countries and greater benefits in the region in terms of trade and more income to households.
Participants visited the following enterprises and facilities:
Livestock State Ministry in the Ministry of Agriculture, Addis Ababa; National Veterinary Institute, Debre Zeit; Modjo Modern Export Abattoir, Modjo; Modjo Luna Export Abattoir, Modjo; Modjo Private Feedlot, Modjo; Meki Private Feedlot, Modjo; Camel Export Holding yard, Adama; and National Animal Health Diagnostic and Investigation Centre (NAHDIC) – a Regional Support Laboratory, Sebeta.
- SMP-AH Project holds a review workshop on project implementation during 2014 and a planning meeting for 2015 in Addis Ababa
- SMP-AH Project Steering Committee Members hold the 4th meeting in Naivasha, Kenya on 4th December 2014 to guide and direct activity implementation
- Programme for the development of Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health in the SADC Region launched, 9-11, September 2014, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Stakeholders from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya meet to harmonize coordination of veterinary activities in cross-border areas within the Somali Ecosystem