The 2017 World Aquaculture Conference, a major annual event of the World Aquaculture Society, shall for the first time be held in Africa with the involvement of countries throughout from the Africa continent and the world. Aquaculture is rapidly growing in Africa and is increasingly becoming integrated into the continent’s food systems and socio-economic development strategies. The transformation in the continent’s aquaculture development approach is enshrined in the ‘Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa’. This strategy that is currently under implementation serves as the continent’s blue print for aquaculture development. The strategic objective for aquaculture under this strategy is to jump-start market-led sustainable aquaculture based upon sound scientific principles and evidencebased strategies and implementation plans.
This is therefore the perfect time for the world aquaculture community to focus on Africa. World Aquaculture 2017 additionally provides an opportunity for Africa’s aquaculture producers, service providers and policy makers to directly interact, learn lessons, and build networks with each other and the global aquaculture community.
The African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), a lead player guiding the implementing of the continental aquaculture policy welcomes this event being hosted in South Africa under the auspices of the Aquaculture Association of South Africa (AASA) in collaboration with the Government of South Africa.
African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal resources (AU-IBAR), recently implemented a training Programme on Quarantine Management Practices and Laboratory Diagnosis for over fourty Somali veterinary personnel drawn from the line ministries, export quarantines, diagnostic laboratories and university veterinary graduates.
The training was aimed at promoting intra and interregional livestock trade and opening the markets with Egypt by raising awareness and diagnostic skills for quarantine management and operations as well as laboratory diagnosis and interpretation of laboratory results of common transboundary animal diseases (TADs) that limit trade.
To mitigate the risk of introduction of TADs to importing countries, live animals from these areas, particularly in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA), destined for export are held in quarantine stations prior to export. This approach has allowed countries in the GHoA to access livestock markets despite the difficulty of achieving whole country or zonal disease free status.
Whereas potential of Somalia to export livestock to Egypt is huge, Egypt’s growing population of over 91 million, and the strong historical and cultural ties between the two countries; the challenge of implementing, Sanitary standards has ensured an inconsistent supply.
The Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources of the African Union (AU-IBAR) in collaboration with the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia organized from 24 to 25 October 2016 at Ocean Bay Hotel in Banjul, The Gambia, a regional stakeholders’ workshop under the Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa (VET-GOV) Programme to launch a Regional Livestock Policy hub (RLPH). Twenty one (21) participants representing stakeholders including public and private sectors, civil society, community base organizations, regional and sub-regional research institutions, national livestock policy focal points and FAO attended the workshop.
The workshop objectives were to critically reflect on responsibility and contribution of the regional livestock policy hub in the development of the livestock sector including an action plan and to identify role and steps to formalise the RLPH as a tool of the regional institutions.
The deputy minister of Agriculture, Sheriffo Bojang, presided over the launching ceremony on behalf of his minister. He said the government under the visionary leadership of President Jammeh envisages sector reform of The Gambia Agricultural Transformation Programme.
“This is purposely geared towards providing a comprehensive policy oversight, sector strategy and address the lingering programme of value chain development in respect of commercialisation, input supply, access to affordable agricultural financing and land tenure reform. This is in line with ECOWAS and partners such as AU-IBAR evidence –based advocacy for policies and legislation changes for increased investment in the livestock sector and improvement of critical competencies of veterinary services within AU member states,” he explained.
The Republic of Mali National Animal Resources Data Management Platform (ARDMP) was officially launched by the Secretary General of Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Mr. Youssouf SANOGO at Bamako, Mali on 15th September 2016.
The launch was part of a 3 day workshop to streamline the concept and activities of the national ARDMP. The launching was preceded by a one day meeting of the NLPH on 14th September 2016 where the decision to institutionalize the ARDMP as an arm of the NLPH and a tool for data sharing and management under the NLPH was reached. Other issues discussed and recommendations made during the NLPH meeting include: a review of NLPH and the focal point ToRs to suit the national need, modalities of functioning, the internal structuring, meetings, means, resources persons and sustainability of the hub.
The primary objective of the Animal Resources Data Management Platform is therefore to improve policy and decision making through inter-Institutional collaborative and improved data collection and management. The NLPH and the ARDMP are being implemented with support provided by the African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) under the “Reinforcing of Veterinary Governance in Africa” (Vet-Gov) project.
During the launching ceremony, the Secretary General highlighted the importance of improved data management as envisaged under this intervention which aims at bringing together all public and private institutions that are involved with livestock data collection and management under a common umbrella in order to strengthen information sharing. The Director of AU-IBAR, Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy in his speech read by Dr. Ibrahim Gashash Ahmed (Information System manager/Animal Resources Information System Coordinator) highlighted the importance of data and information for policy and decision making. He pointed out that AU-IBAR is supporting all AU-MSs in the area of data management through the ARIS programme, and further informed participants that the current intervention on establishment of national ARDMP is being piloted in selected 10 Member States including the Republic of Mali.
The Ghana National Animal Resources Data Management Platform (ARDMP) was officially launched by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) Deputy Minister, Hon. Dr. Hanna Bisiw in Accra, Ghana on 18th August 2016.
The launch was part of a 3 day workshop undertaken to streamline the concept and activities of the national ARDMP. The primary objective of the platform is to improve policy and decision making through improved data collection and management. It’s core activities will be implemented through the support provided by the African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) under the “Reinforcing of Veterinary Governance in Africa” (Vet-Gov) project.
During the ceremony, the Hon Minister lamented that Africa spends $4 billion each year on import of livestock and livestock products and highlighted the urgent need to reverse this trend. She further highlighted some of the constraints that have continued to be a hindrance in the development of the livestock sector within the continent. One primary issue stressed is the paucity of good quality data and information to support policy formulation and decision making. The Minister reiterated the importance of improved data management as envisaged under this intervention which aims at bringing together all organizations (public and private) that are involved in various forms of animal resources data collection and management across the country into a single platform in order to streamline their activities and strengthen information sharing.
The Director of AU-IBAR, Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy in his speech read by Dr. Ibrahim Gashash Ahmed (Information System manager/Animal Resources Information System Coordinator) highlighted the importance of data and information for policy and decision making. He pointed out that AU-IBAR is supporting all AU-MSs in the area of data management through the ARIS programme, and further said that the current intervention on establishment of national ARDMP is being piloted in selected 10 Member States. He congratulated Ghana for being the 1st country to formally launch its platform.
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