The workshop on SPS capacity building and sustainable strategy for the national Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee of The Gambia was held from 25th to 28th September 2017 at Ocean Bay Hotel in Banjul, The Gambia.
The objectives of the workshop were:
- Improve the understanding of the participants on the standards setting procedures of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), World Animal Health Organization (OIE) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).
- Improve understanding of participants on the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
Thirty-five participants who are members of the Gambia National Codex Committee (NCC) and National Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee (NSPSC) and a Representative from the FAO country office in The Gambia attended the workshop.
The workshop was opened by the Ms. Nancy A. Niang, Permanent Secretary for Health at the Office of the Vice President. Opening statements was also delivered by Dr. Mphumuzi Sukati, Senior Policy Officer for Economics, Trade and Marketing at AU-IBAR on behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy.
A joint ceremony was held on Friday 22nd September 2017 between AU-IBAR and the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (IGAD-ICPALD) for the formal hand-over of a new Toyota Hiace 14 seater minibus purchased under the EU-funded project for "Improving Animal Disease Surveillance in Support of Trade in the IGAD Member States" (STSD Project). Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, the Director of AUIBAR and Dr. Solomon Munyua, the Director of IGAD-ICPALD presided over the ceremony.
The STSD project is funded through the EU Djibouti Delegation and is jointly implemented by AU-IBAR, IGAD-ICPALD and the IGAD Member States in collaboration with other technical partners.
The STSD Project and the recently concluded USAID funded project for Standard Methods and procedures in Animal Health (SMP-AH), were designed to support measures to reduce the impacts of Transboundary animal diseases (TADs) and zoonoses on livestock trade in the Greater Horn of Africa.
Over the last four years, the two projects have played complimentary roles that have greatly enhanced the capacity of IGAD Member States for the surveillance, diagnosis and control as well as animal health certification for the key trade sensitive animal diseases in the region. The projects also improved the capacities of both AU-IBAR and IGAD-ICPALD for coordinating interventions at the regional level.
On May 15th-19th and May 29th – June 2nd 2017, AU-IBAR, under the Vet. Gov Programme supported the development of the Lesotho and Zimbabwe Livestock Development Strategic Plans for 2018-2022, respectively. The drafting of the Livestock Development Strategic Plans was undertaken by the National Livestock Policy Hub Working group with the technical guidance of Dr Mphumuzi Sukati, Senior Policy Officer of Economics, Trade and Marketing Unit at AU-IBAR and Dr Peter G. Sinyangwe, VET-GOV Project Coordinator at SADC. The overall objective or focus for 2018-2022 Zimbabwe Livestock Development Strategy is 'Increasing the contribution of the livestock sector to inclusive income generations and food and nutrition security' while that of Lesotho is to 'Promote sustainable rural livelihoods especially amongst youth and women'.
A meeting was held in Entebbe, Uganda on 27th-28th June 2017 on Livestock Socio-economics and Policy Network (LSPNet) by AU-IBAR and FAO. LSPNet was established in 2013 to address the inadequate policies and unsound investment in animal health and livestock in general.
The aim of the workshop was to discuss the findings of the status of the four key ingredients supporting evidence-based policymaking and chart the way forward to address the gaps; Share information on livestock policy related projects in Africa and outputs from the projects and explore targeted roles that the LSPNet can undertake to further interventions in support of (i) gaps identified from the policy capacity studies (ii) current global animal health concerns.
Presentations on "Current status of livestock development in Africa, challenges and policy implications" and on "Livestock Policy landscape in Africa" were made by Dr Mphumuzi Sukati, who heads the economics, trade and marketing unit of AU-IBAR. Dr Anne Kigezo (Programme Officer – AU-IBAR) made a presentation on "VET-GOV successful livestock policy formulation case studies, LIDESA and its implication for livestock policies in Africa" Key outcomes of the workshop were the need to maintain the LSPNET and to find ways of integrating livestock economics in veterinary curriculum for training institution in Africa.
During the Continental Meeting on Veterinary Education held in Dakar on 5th - 7th July 2017, a workshop was also held on 'Sensitizing Youth in Agribusiness on Veterinary Policies and Legislations for Market Development.' The workshop was a joint collaborative effort between AU-IBAR and the African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN). 25 young entrepreneurs from East and West Africa attended the workshop.
The participants were drawn from a wide spectrum of livestock and fisheries value chains, including ICT actors in the sector. The training was conducted by Dr Mphumuzi Sukati (Senior Policy Officer:Economics, Trade and Marketing) and Mr John Oppong-Otoo (Food Safety Officer) from AU-IBAR; and Mr Peter Kuria Githinji and Dr Alex Ariho (CEO) from AAIN. A key gap was noted in that most of the youth did know about SPS Standards and how Veterinary Policies and Legislations impact on their agribusinesses. In this regard, there was a need to set up an ‘African Youth Business Incubation Forum for Livestock and Fisheries Value Chains’ that will, among other things (i) Provide targeted training and awareness creation on animal health and food safety standards (ii) Provide a continental Community of Practice (CoP) for sharing information on market information, veterinary and food safety standards applicable to livestock and fisheries sectors and (iii) Build market-led technical capacities and upscale of ICTs and innovations to enhance youths in livestock and fisheries value chains. Participants were given certificate of participation by the Minister of Livestock and Animal Production of Senegal, H.E Aminata Mbengue Ndiaye; and the Director of AU-IBAR, Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy. The workshop was supported by Vet Gov Programme funded by the EU.
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