Working together for an effective response on COVID -19 Impact on the animal resources sector in Africa and Identification of Mitigation Measures

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Nairobi, Kenya; 19th May, 2020

The African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) has launched a rapid assessment of COVID-19 impact on the animal resources sector in Africa and Identification of Mitigation Measures. The rapid impact assessment will provide a baseline for assessing the impacts on the animal resources sector, and identify immediate, medium and longer-term mitigation measures currently in force and/or measures that are in plan by African Union Member States.

The assessment has come in the form of a consultative stakeholder consultative meeting, follow-up surveys and a stakeholder validation meeting in the coming months. A key outcome of the assessment will be a statement from all stakeholders that collectively identifies responsive mechanisms that will be established by respective national Governments and stakeholders to mitigate the impact of COVID 19 impact in countries.

On Thursday 21st May, 2020, AU-IBAR will host the first in a series of online continental consultations to introduce the assessment and obtain buy-in from all African Union member states. The meeting will involve moderated discussions and feedback on core issues on current and planned mitigation interventions in countries.

The attendees will comprise over 150 key sector players, such as: Regional Economic Communities, Chief Veterinary Officers, Directors of Animal Production, Directors of Fisheries, the Private Sector, Donors, Cooperating partners, Livestock Value Chain actors, Researchers and academia, and Chairpersons of continental and regional arms of the African youth in livestock, fisheries and aquaculture incubation network (AYL-FAIN); the African women in animal resources farming and agribusiness network (AWARFA-N), and the Africa Aquaculture Network for Africa (ANAF).

Through this initiative, AU-IBAR joins several other entities and leaders promoting ‘An urgent call for a coordinated approach to responding to the impact of COVID-19. The African Union/ FAO Ministerial Meeting that discussed COVID-19 implication for food security in Africa, held on 16th April 2020 identified several recommendations for promoting a collective process towards the mitigation of COVID-19 in countries. Some include:

  • Opening a window of opportunity through COVID-19 to fast-track regulatory and structural reforms, and expedite the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) integration process to ensure pan-continental food security;
  • Finding integrated solutions critically secure agri-food systems, tailored to the needs of both small-scale producers as well as the larger commercial producers, recognizing that they are inter-dependent even for the most remote communities.

In April 2020, in an interview with France24, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, advised that the pandemic should “serve as a hymn, an anthem for multilateralism and solidarity."

The European Union (EU), AU-IBAR’s key donor highlights the importance of a “Team” approach to curtail COVID outbreak in order to ensure global health, to support countries fighting against the virus and to enhance resilience.

AU-IBAR has been an important convening power leading to coordination and joint standard-setting in the animal resources sector for AU member states. For more than four decades, AU-IBAR coordinated major continent-wide efforts aimed at the eradication of rinderpest through several projects in African Union member states.

Over the years the mandate of AU-IBAR has evolved to better address the needs of the continent, by coordinating key programmes on all aspects of animal resources, including livestock, fisheries and wildlife, across the entire African continent. Simultaneously, AU-IBAR fills a unique and strategic niche by working at the continental and regional levels, with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as key partners.

Establishing mitigation measures against the COVID 19 impact will therefore be founded on important principles that will guide member states going forward, i.e. the principles of subsidiarity and complementarity. AU-IBAR together with member states will propose a set of recommendations to help better respond to the negative impact of COVID-19 on the Animal Resources sector, such as Identification of: policy options to contain and mitigate the impacts on COVID-19, approaches to protect the most vulnerable, and means of unlocking possible sources and approaches to protect economic restoration.

This will include addressing current challenges and solutions through an inclusive and gradual COVID-19 transition. The process will further ensure member state adoption of the Livestock Development Strategy and other key continental strategies through targeted interventions by member states.
More Information, contact:

Prof. Ahmed El-Sawalhy
African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources
Kenindia Business Park, Museum Hill, Westlands Road
P.O. Box 30786, Nairobi 00100 KENYA
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Prof. James Wabacha
Animal Health Expert
African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Press Release - Working together for an effective response on COVID -19 Impact on the animal resources sector in Africa and Identification of Mitigation Measures
Date 2020-05-21 Language  English Filesize 528.78 KB

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