The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), in collaboration with the Pan African Parliament (PAP) held a training programme for 21 parliamentatians from Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Cote D’ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Mali, Niger, Central African Republic, Sahrawi Republic, Chad, Togo and Tunisia. The training took place at Sofitel Hotel in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire from 21st to 23rd November 2016.
In his welcoming remarks, The Director of AU-IBAR Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy informed participants that the African Union, through the Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (IBAR) has significantly improved the participation of African delegates in the activities of international organizations responsible for the development of international sanitary and Phytosanitary standards (OIE, Codex, IPPC) as well as their participation in the meetings of the SPS Committee.
Prof Ahmed emphasised that despite marked progress, there is still work to be done in terms of adequately briefing key decision-makers such as the policy makers and legislators. This will be instrumental to any endeavour aiming at further enhancing the participation of African nations in standard setting organisations. It is therefore important to explain, share and sensitize the Honourable MPs on these issues and to build a strong coalition to address all the issues that are of relevance to the continent.
He further informed the audience that AU-IBAR is also promoting policy dialog at national level, through the reinforcing veterinary governance in Africa programme. This is being done through the establishment and operationalization of policy hubs which bring together state and non-state actors to discuss issues of relevance to the livestock sector and build national consensus on the best options to address these issues. These policy dialogue platforms have the potential to bring about meaningful change in enhancing the institutional environment for a better delivery of services thereby catalyzing investment. He reiterated AU-IBAR’s commitment to continue supporting these platforms and called for parliamentarians support to sustain them in order to bring about greater sense of ownership among public sector actors as well as private sector operators.
The training workshop was officially opened by the President of PAP Honorable Roger Nkodo Dang who expressed his satisfaction about the increasing confidence AU institution have in the Pan African Parliament. He informed the audience that the ratification of the PAP protocol is on course. He thanked AU-IBAR for its sustained support and reassured the latter of PAP unwavering assistance to the best of its capacity.
As a way forward, parliamentarians resolved to engage all the relevant delegates at national level and submit status reports on the SPS committees and national livestock policy hubs as well as initiatives taken towards their establishment or strengthening and their sustainability. On the basis of the quality of reports and initiatives taken, AU-IBAR will facilitate the participation of 15 parliamentarians in standards setting organizations meetings.
The workshop was facilitated by resource persons from AU-IBAR, Dr Baboucarr Jaw Head of Animal Health Unit, Dr Raphael Coly Coordinator of the SPS Secretariat and Dr Mphumuzi Sukati Head of Trade and Marketing Unit.