From 7-10 September, 2020, Animal Welfare stakeholders and representatives from several organization will participate in the 4th Africa Animal Welfare Conference, which will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 Pandemic travel restrictions. The theme of this year’s conference is “Animal welfare, wildlife and environmental conservation for sustainable development in Africa: Enhancing nature-based solutions.”
The conference is jointly organized by the Africa Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AUIBAR), Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The representatives of the three institutions will give the opening remarks during the opening session; namely Prof. James Nkansah Obrempong, Board Chair - Africa Network for Animal Welfare; Prof. Ahmed El-Sawalhy, Director and Head of Mission - African Union Intra-African Bureau for Animal Resources; and Alexander Juras, Chief, Civil Society Unit - United Nations Environment Programme.
In attendance will be representatives of Regional Economic Communities, Directors of Veterinary Services, Animal Production Services and Wildlife Conservation/Management Services from African Union Member States, and experts from various institutions and civil society organizations. Several dignitaries will grace the event during the opening session, led by Hon. Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives of the Republic of Kenya; who is set to officially open the event. Hon. Garba Datti Muhammad, Member of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, Nigeria, will give the Keynote Address. In addition, several goodwill messages will be delivered by partner institutions; namely: Mike Baker, Chief Executive, The Donkey Sanctuary, UK; Wolf Gordon Clifton, Executive Director, Animal People, USA; Tennyson Williams, Regional Director-Africa, World Animal Protection; Dr Karim Tounkara, Africa Regional Representative, OIE; and Dr. Newman Scott, FAO Regional Office for Africa.
The conference theme is aligned to the Agenda 2063, which is Africa’s strategic framework for delivering inclusive and sustainable development goals. The theme speaks specifically to Aspiration Number 1 of the Agenda 2063; that is ‘A prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development’. The Aspiration is anchored on 5 Goals of the Agenda 2063; namely: (1) A high standard of living, quality of life and wellbeing for all citizens, (3) Healthy and well-nourished citizens, (5) Modern Agriculture for increased productivity and production, (6) Blue/ ocean economy for accelerated economic growth and (7) Environmentally sustainable and climate resilient economies and communities. This Aspiration and the Goals clearly demonstrate the interlinkages between sustainable economic growth, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, public health and general human welfare.
The African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is a specialized technical office of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) of the African Union Commission (AUC). AU-IBAR is mandated to support and coordinate
the sustainable development and utilization of animal resources (livestock, fisheries and wildlife) to enhance nutrition and food security and contribute to the wellbeing and prosperity of the people in the Member States of the African Union. AU-IBAR accomplishes its mandate through supporting and empowering the African Union Member States and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). AU-IBAR’s vision is of an Africa in which animal resources contribute significantly to the reduction of poverty and hunger. Founded in 1951 to study the epidemiological situation and fight rinderpest in Africa, AU-IBAR’s mandate covers all aspects of animal resources, including livestock, fisheries and wildlife, across the entire African continent, with a unique and strategic niche of working at continental level, and through principals of subsidiarity with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Member States (MS), who are core partners.
One of AU-IBARs current projects is the Sustainable Development of Livestock for Livelihoods in Africa (Live2Africa) that is funded by the European Union.
Key actions of the project seek to make a significant contribution to the objectives of the 2015-2025 Africa Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation Agenda adopted by the Head of States and Governments of the AU in Malabo in 2014.
The actions are centred on seven result areas, which are organised around the four Livestock Development Strategy for Africa strategic objectives as follows:
- Investments in livestock value chains (LVCs) are increased;
- Animal Health Delivery Services are improved;
- Animal Production, Productivity and Ecosystem Management are enhanced;
- Resilience of Livestock Production Systems are strengthened;
- Technology adoption in the Livestock Value Chains is increased;
- Access to inputs, services, markets and value addition are increased;
- AU-IBAR capacities are strengthened.
The actions aim to contribute to enhancing farm/ pastoral households resilience to shocks; improved productivity; reduce post-harvest losses; creating jobs along the regional livestock value chain; strengthening public private partnerships; and enhancing intra and inter-regional trade.
In commemoration of the 2nd World Food Safety Day (WFSD), the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Africa (CCAFRICA) organized an online meeting on 5th June 2020 to raise awareness on food safety. The meeting was held under the theme “COVID-19 Pandemic and Food Safety – Building resilient national food control systems for consumer protection and safe trade”. The objective of the online meeting was to provide a platform for Competent Authorities in Africa responsible for food control to share information on impact, challenges, lessons in food control as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and Identify best practices and mitigation measures for operating resilient national food control systems. The meeting was attended by 86 participants from 30 African countries, 2 RECs (ECOWAS and COMESA), AU-IBAR and African Development Bank. Prof. Ahmed Elswalhy, Director AU-IBAR opened the meeting, Dr. Kimutai Maritim, CCAFRICA Coordinator also addressed participants.
WE the Member States of African Union, Regional Economic Communities, Development Partners, Food Producers, Processors and Marketers and Consumers;
RECALLING the momentum created from the previous WFSD celebrations, and desirous to collaborate in unison to focus efforts on reaching state and non-state actors as well as those directly involved in food systems on the continent in order to raise the profile of food safety at all levels;
TAKING COGNIZANCE that unsafe food poses a significant threat to human health and well-being and can hamper agricultural transformation, market integration, and economic development;
RECOGNIZING that foodborne diseases make 91 million people ill and cause 137,000 premature deaths annually and that this translates into productivity losses of US$95 billion a year in developing countries alone;