Bujumbura, Burundi, July 2, 2013: The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of the Republic of Burundi, Her Excellency Odette Kayitesi, underlined the importance of reforms in the policy arena to ensure tangible developments in the livestock sector through adequate investment.
Speaking to journalists covering the launching of a continental training on Policy Analysis and Advocacy, organised by the AU-IBAR VET-GOV Programme, the Minister highlighted the fact that the livestock sector requires adequate attention to attract more investment to strengthen veterinary services.
In delivering the message on behalf of Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy, the Director of AU-IBAR, Dr. Simplice Nouala, Head of the Animal Production Unit of AU-IBAR, remarked that, despite livestock's contribution to the livelihoods of millions of people and country's gross domestic product, the profile of livestock remains low in national documents. It is therefore that the VET-GOV Programme is poised to improve this worrisome picture through strengthening institutions for policy reform. Professor Cheikh Ly, representing the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), also remarked that policies and institutions constitute a critical place in the development of the livestock sector.
The five-day training programme, which was organised by the AU-IBAR VET-GOV Programme in Bujumbura, Burundi, from 1st to 5th July, 2013, drew 45 participants from 23 Francophone African Nations. The ultimate goal of the training is to empower country teams', and particularly the National Livestock Policy Focal Points' (NLPFPs) policy analysis and advocacy skills. The training programme covered the theoretical and practical applications of public policy and advocacy in the context of livestock agriculture, and provided capacity building and practical tools on advocacy and communication. The same training is scheduled to be conducted in Accra, Ghana from 22 to 26, July, 2013 for Anglophone African countries.