On July 24th 2015 the AU-IBAR Genetics Project “Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation of African Animal Genetic Resources” held its 2nd Steering Committee meeting at the Sofitel Mauritius l’Impérial Resort and Spa, in Port Louis, Mauritius.
The Steering Committee meeting was chaired by Dr. Simplice Nouala, representing the Director of AU-IBAR. The meeting was attended by representatives from RECs (COMESA, EAC, ECCAS and IGAD), from Member States (Botswana, Gabon, Mauritius and Zambia) from technical and implementing partners (CIRDES, FARA NEPAD and ILRI), from Farmers Organizations (Mauritius Deer cooperative and Réseau Billital Maroobé (RBM)) and the European Commission.
The Project Team reported on the achievements that included: promotion and strong position of African countries on issues relating to AnGR, policy and legislation gaps and potential interventions identified, initiation of assessment on the legal environment for the exchange and movement of animal genetic materials, stock-taking of the challenges and constraints in the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in African countries since its ratification, establishment of Sub-Regional Focal Points (S-RFPs) for AnGR in all five regions of the continent. Other achievements included establishment of regional networks and community of practice for information sharing, lessons learning and coordination of AnGR initiatives on the continent, initiatives to harmonize AnGR tools including identification of suitable characterization, inventory and monitoring tools for use within the continent and the African Animal Genetic Resources Information System (AAGRIS) hosted as a module within ARIS2 envisioned as a “one-stop-shop” for information and data on AnGR.
The Steering Committee discussed ways to facilitate and fast-track the project implementation and some recommendations were formulated to enable further implementation of the project. Members of the Steering Committee commended AU-IBAR on the milestones achieved during this second year of project implementation. The Chair commended the achievements of the project team and emphasized the importance of the project and how it provides the various stakeholders and beneficiaries with opportunities to gain valuable experience and expertise in the effective management of animal genetic resources.
The Genetics Project is implemented by the AU-IBAR with the financial support of the European Union and the African Union Commission.