As part of the implementation of the reinforcing veterinary governance (VET-GOV) Program, AU-IBAR organized a seminar on policy engagement and governance of farmers Organizations harmonization from 9th to 11th November 2015, in AU-IBAR premises, Nairobi, Kenya. The broad objectives of the seminar was to engage the regional farmers organizations (RFOs) to better respond to the needs of their membership thereby enhancing their capacities to contribute meaningfully to policy development processes, improving their leadership and organizational management capacities and sustaining good governance.
The seminar was attended by representatives from APESS, COFENABVI – AO, EAFF, NEALCO, PROPAC, RBM, SACAU, UMAOC, UMAGRI and participants from AU-IBAR, OIE, and FAO.
The specific objectives of the seminar were:
- To equip Regional Farmers Organizations with tools for enhanced participation in policy processes
- To discuss and build consensus on the principles of good governance, leadership and organisational management
- To develop a support strategy and engagement mechanism for stakeholders organisation
AU-IBAR recently led multi-stakeholder efforts to formulate the livestock Development Strategy for Africa (LiDeSA) and the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (PFRS). These two key continental frameworks will be instrumental in guiding and rationalizing efforts and resources toward the development of animal resources on the continent.
Considering the paramount role of legislators in the process of policies formulation and approval, and in the enactment of legislation related to animal resources, AU-IBAR, through the reinforcing of veterinary governance (VET-GOV) programme seeks to foster partnership with the Pan African Parliamentarians (PAP), by providing them with information on animal resources policies and legislation development process and progress at national, regional and continental levels in order to solicit and secure their full support in this area.
In this regard a high level seminar was held in Nairobi at AU-IBAR premises from 5th -6th November 2015 for engagement and creation of awareness amongst the members of Pan African Parliamentarians on the Livestock development Strategy for Africa (LiDeSA), the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (PFRS), the Reinforcing veterinary governance in Africa (VET-GOV) Programme and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) Activities with the view to establish a plan of action and roadmap for the members of PAP at national, regional and continental levels on the LiDeSA, PFRS, VET-GOV and SPS.
The need for increased investment in the livestock sector has been recognised at the highest levels of governments in Africa through the Maputo/Sirte Declaration of 2003/2004. This has been further strengthened through the Malabo Declaration, which was tendered to realize African Union’s vision of “Accelerated Africa Agriculture Growth and Transformation” as stated in Agenda 2063.
Following these milestones, AU-IBAR developed the “Livestock Development Strategy for Africa (LiDeSA)”, which is believed to be instrumental to transform the livestock sector by harnessing its underutilized potential.
The reinforcing veterinary governance (VET-GOV) Programme attaches a significant importance to evidence-based advocacy by ascribing it as one of the key areas of focus. According to VET-GOV technical document, the purpose of the advocacy work is to facilitate the core tasks through catalyzing dialogues on the significance of progressive policy frameworks, and sustainable and adequate investment for the sector.
The VET-GOV Programme developed a Communication and Advocacy Strategy, for the delivery of a series of forums, which allows regional and national policy makers discuss about and forge consensus on livestock policy reforms and investment issues.
AU-IBAR under its Knowledge management programme has continued to provide support to member countries of the African Union in animal resources data management under the Animal Resources Information System (ARIS) intervention programme. One of the activities being implemented under this intervention is supporting selected countries to establish Animal Resources (AR) data management and sharing platforms in order to support policy and decision making.
This current intervention is helping to bring together the different agencies and Institutions that are involved in AR data collection and management at the national level to establish viable networks and platforms/fora for the purpose of improving AR data management through improving data collection, management and sharing practices. The platforms when established will be managed and operate within the context of the existing national livestock policy hubs. It is expected that the establishment of the platforms will ease communication difficulties between agencies responsible for AR data collection and management, facilitate the sharing of data, exchange of experiences, sharing of responsibilities, reduce overhead cost and inconsistencies, enhance optimum utilization of scare resources, support professionalism and promote mutual cooperation on Animal Resources data management at national level, among other things.
A three-day Continental workshop to define modalities for operationalization of the platforms was organized from 11 -13 November 2015 at Voila Hotel in Port Louis, Mauritius. The participants at the workshop were the Data/ARIS focal points, National Livestock policy focal points and representations from the national bureaus of statistics from 9 out of the 10 selected pilot countries. The countries present were Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, TChad, The Gambia, Tunisia and Zambia.
A team of experts developed a curriculum that will lend a series of training programmes, which will improve the capacities of member states of the African Union in livestock policy analysis, livestock investment , advocacy and communications. The training will be given to trainers, drawn from all member states of the African Union, who have the will and capacities to influence policies towards livestock development.
In a writeshop, held in Dakar, Senegal, from October 26th to 30th, October, 2015, experts from academia, partner institutions, national ministries in-charge of livestock and AU-IBAR, discussed, analysed and set forth the main content outline, which comprised relevant topics on livestock policies, livestock investment and, advocacy and communication, that would feed into the training manual, trainers’ manual, case studies and exercises. Furthermore, the team of experts developed the necessary documents which allow commissioning the curriculum development and training programmes.
In his closing remarks, Dr Simplice Nouala, on behalf of Director of AU-IBAR, Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy, indicated that in the past few years, a paradigm shift in livestock sector has been observed in a way that officials and experts have started to discuss livestock governance issues, which have never been raised in the preceding years. While appreciating this change, Dr Nouala noted, a lot remain to be done in terms of putting appropriate policies and legislations on the ground and such a challenge has required capacities in policy analysis and formulation; and advocacy and communication.
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