The livestock sector has enormous potential to contribute to food security and general economic integration within the Greater Horn of Africa. However, the sector is seriously constrained by animal diseases. The bans that the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region experienced from the major importing countries on livestock imports due to concerns over trans-boundary animal diseases (TADs) have had significant impacts on the livelihoods of livestock-dependent communities and business enterprises. Trade-sensitive livestock diseases are major non-tariff barriers to trade in livestock and livestock products between the IGAD region and the rest of the world, especially the lucrative European and Middle East markets. It is therefore, imperative that the region strengthens the disease control and prevention efforts and find ways of sustaining and enhancing the valuable livestock trade and its benefits.
In an effort to reduce the impacts of animal diseases on trade performance of the livestock sector in the IGAD region, AU-IBAR in collaboration with IGAD Secretariat developed a project entitled 'Improving Animal Disease Surveillance in Support of Trade in IGAD Member States", in short "Surveillance of Trade Sensitive Diseases – STSD". The project is implemented with financial support from the European Union (EU).
The STSD project aims to reduce the impact of TADs and zoonoses on trade in livestock and livestock products as well as increase resilience of vulnerable livestock-dependent communities.
The project expects two results namely:
- Animal Identification, Traceability and Health Certification Systems Improved; and
- Surveillance Systems and Disease Control Strategies Improved at national and regional levels.
Each result has sub-results and activities to meet the specific objectives of the project. The main outcome of the project is strengthened capacity to protect livestock assets, enhanced resilience and livestock trade promoted through improved disease surveillance, animal identification and traceability as well as health certification systems in all eight member states (MSs) of the IGAD region. The project will also allow better and coordinated responses against many recurrent TADs, especially PPR through ensuring early detection capability and development of PPR regional control strategy and coordination mechanism.
The project will contribute to strategic programmes I (Reduce the Impacts of TADs and Zoonoses) and IV (Standards and Regulations) of AU-IBAR, particularly in terms of harmonization of sanitary measures and support to the development of traceability and certification schemes, IGAD Regional Policy Framework on Animal Health in the context of trade and vulnerability of IGAD member states, and the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative. The project's contribution will particularly be felt through the two priority intervention areas: Livelihoods support and basic social services, and market access, trade and financial services.