Gambia, 25th - 27th September 2013
The workshop was officially opened by the Minister of Agriculture Honorable Solomon Owens who stated that the livestock sector is seriously constrained by animal diseases and inadequate investments to enhance its contribution to the development of the African continent despite its leverage potential. He noted that in June 2012, the government of The Gambia took the decision to implement the recommendations of the OIE PVS mission of 2009 to re-establish the Department of Livestock Services with a strong veterinary mandate under a single chain of command.
Speaking on behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR, Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy, Dr Baboucarr Jaw the VET-GOV project officer stated that AU-IBAR is exploring practical strategies to assist member states and regional economic communities to sustainably manage their animal resources. "The main approach to achieve these results is the mobilisation of technical and financial resources to undertake interventions aimed at addressing the challenges to animal resources development in Africa," he outlined.
The workshop was attended by a cross-section of government officials, private sector operators, representatives of civil society organisations, farmers organisations, members of the agriculture select committee of the national assembly and representatives of tertiary education institutions.
The workshop validated the terms of reference for the policy hub and national livestock policy focal point. The workshop also reached consensus on the membership, structure , anchorage of the policy hub and linkages with relevant institutions. An action plan was developed which will be the basis for VET-GOV engagement at national level.