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African Union and the Marine Stewardship Council Collaborate to Build Capacity on Sustainable Fisheries in Africa

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© 2016 AU-IBAR. Group photo of participants at the training workshop designed to build capacity for  African fisheries.© 2016 AU-IBAR. Group photo of participants at the training workshop designed to build capacity for African fisheries.Yaoundé, Cameroon, 14 December 2015, – A training workshop designed to build capacity for African fisheries to benefit from certification and ecolabelling held in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 14th to 19th December 2015.

The five-day workshop was organized by the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in collaboration with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) with support from NEPAD and other organisations including African Ecolabelling Mechanisms and African Regional Standards Organisation.

The event provided a platform for participants to use international sustainable fisheries standards as a tool to improve fisheries and help protect livelihoods and economic development.

Participants from 15 African countries, drawn from government fisheries department, scientists and experts as well as the private sector gathered in Yaoundé the Cameroonian Capital City to build their knowledge and skills on fisheries improvements and certification.

“The African Union Policy framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (PFRS) recognizes the importance of fisheries trade to food security and livelihoods. A key policy area in the PFRS is to promote “Responsible and Equitable Fish Trade and Marketing,” said Director AU-IBAR/ Chief of Mission, Prof. Ahmed A. Elsawalhy.

With the growing global interest in supply of sustainable seafood an increasing number of fisheries around the world are using the MSC’s internationally recognized Fishery Standard to promote sustainable fishing, but representation from Africa is low. The workshop was aimed at building stakeholders’ capacity to ensure that more African fisheries are able to embark on the journey to sustainability and certification.

Oluyemisi Oloruntuyi is the Head of MSC’s Developing World Program. She says “the workshop is a major step towards increasing availability of expertise in the region on fisheries improvement projects and fishery certification and ultimately promoting responsible fish trade and marketing in the region”. We expect to hold more of these capacity building events to support stakeholders working to improve fisheries to the level of MSC requirements.

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Final Communique - Consultation on the Regional strategy for the control of African swine fever (ASF) in Africa

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© 2015/HB. Modern pilote pigs farm, Sao Tome.© 2015/HB. Modern pilote pigs farm, Sao Tome.The consultation on the Regional strategy for the control of African swine fever (ASF) in Africa jointly organized by AU-IBAR and FAO took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 10th to 12th November 2015. The opening ceremony was presided by Mr. Josué Tamini, representative of his Excellency Mr the Minister of Animal Resources for Burkina Faso in the presence of Mr. Rémy Courcier, Deputy-representative and representative of FAO in Burkina Faso, Dr Hiver Boussini representative for AU-IBAR, Dr. Edward Okoth, representative for ILRI and Dr Ouattara Director of Veterinary Services for Burkina Faso.

Thirty nine participants attended the meeting including Directors of Veterinary Services or their representatives for 16 countries of West, East Central and South Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, RD Congo, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Togo, CAR, Chad, Zambia et Zimbabwe) and Laboratory Directors of Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, RD Congo and Ethiopia, as well as pig value chains actors groups/associations from Burkina Faso. Experts from FAO (Regional Office for West Africa, sub-regional office for Central Africa, ECTAD Central, West and East Africa), AU-IBAR, ILRI, OIE and AU-PANVAC.

The objectives of the meeting were:

  • To examine and validate the regional strategy for the control of ASF in Africa;
  • To examine and validate the action plan for the implementation of the strategy;
  • To consolidate the continental program for the control of ASF.

During 3 days meeting, the participants were updated on current situation of the disease and discussed and approved the meeting agenda around 4 sessions as follow:

Session 1: Set-up

  • Presentation and adoption of the meeting agenda
  • Objectives of the meeting
  • Presentation of the ASF Taskforce
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Final Communique – Animal Welfare Continental Consultative Stakeholders Conference

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© 2015 Donkey Sanctuary. A child holding a donkey. © 2015 Donkey Sanctuary. A child holding a donkey.The first Continental Consultative Stakeholders Conference on Animal Welfare (AW) took place at African Union Inter-african Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in Nairobi, Kenya on 30th November to 1st December 2015. Directors of Veterinary Services from 27 African Union (AU) Members States (MS) namely: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Congo/Brazzaville, DRC, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe attended the meeting. In attendance also were representatives from COMESA and IGAD; experts in animal welfare (AW) from the Brooke Hospital for Animals (The Brooke); the Donkey Sanctuary; the World Animal Protection; the African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW); and the Pan African Alliance for Animal Welfare (PAAWA); and National AW NGOs from Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. The World Animal Health Organization (OIE) and Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO) were also represented at the meeting.

The Conference was co-funded by World Animal Protection, the Brooke Hospital for Animals (The Brooke), the Donkey Sanctuary and AU-IBAR through European Union and USAID funded program (VET-GOV and SMP-AH) projects with the technical support of the OIE and FAO.

The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Thomas Ndulu Daido, Senior Deputy Director of Veterinary Services representing the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Republic of Kenya. Goodwill messages were delivered by Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, the Director AU-IBAR; Ms. Beryl Mutonomo-Watkiss representing the CEO the World Animal Protection; Mr. Fred Ochieng on behalf of The Brooke; Dr. Bojia Endebu on behalf of the Donkey Sanctuary; Dr Samuel Wakhusama on behalf of the OIE and Dr Bouna Diop on behalf of the FAO.

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Communiqué - Inter-Regional Conference to Promote Safe and Stable Livestock Trade Between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East

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© 2015 AU-IBAR. Sheep in a livestock market in Sudan.© 2015 AU-IBAR. Sheep in a livestock market in Sudan.22nd - 24th November, 2015, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Countries in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA), with support from AU-IBAR, ICPALD, USAID and EU, have been undertaking measures to enhance prevention and control of animal diseases. The intention is to guarantee disease free livestock exports to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

There have been periodic opportunities to reflect on enhancing safe trade in livestock and livestock products between GHoA and the MENA. This has been through two previous forums:

  1. Livestock Stakeholders in Animal Health Certification and Trade, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2-3 August 2010; and
  2. Enhancing Safe Inter-Regional Livestock Trade: Risk-Based Approaches to Livestock Certification and Harmonized Control of Trade-Related Transboundary Animal Diseases; June 13-16, 2011, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

To further strengthen the modalities for sustaining and enhancing safe trade in livestock commodities between the two regions, this third forum was convened given the increasing recognition of the importance of market oriented livestock production.

These modalities aim at preventing livestock trade disruptions occasioned by import bans by Middle East Countries as previously experienced during outbreaks of transboundary animal diseases (TADs), especially Rift Valley Fever (RVF). Previous livestock import bans by Middle East countries resulted in informal live animal trade. This posed major health risks to human and animal populations in the importing countries. Hence, the modalities will also explore joint management approaches to counter factors that would lead to trade bans.

The forum is jointly organized by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID, Kenya and East Africa) through the Standard Methods and Procedures Project (SMP-AH) and the European Union (EU) through the Enhancing Somali Livestock trade (ESOLT).

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Press Release - Livestock trade stakeholders from the Greater Horn of Africa and the Middle East meet to agree on modalities to promote safe and stable livestock trade between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East

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Countries in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA), with support from AU-IBAR, ICPALD, USAID and EU, are undertaking measures to enhance prevention and control of animal diseases. The intention is guarantee disease free livestock exports to the Middle East and North Africa.

© 2015 AU-IBAR. Sheep and goats in a livestock quarantine station in Berbera, Somaliland.© 2015 AU-IBAR. Sheep and goats in a livestock quarantine station in Berbera, Somaliland.DUBAI (23rd November 2015)- With increased recognition of the importance of market oriented livestock production, especially in GHoA pastoral areas , livestock stakeholders from the GHoA and the Middle East are meeting this week to agree on modalities for sustaining and enhancing safe trade in livestock commodities between the two regions. The modalities aim at preventing livestock trade disruptions occasioned by import bans by Middle East Countries as previously experienced during outbreaks of transboundary animal diseases (TADs), especially Rift Valley Fever (RVF). Previous livestock import bans by Middle East countries resulted in informal live animal trade. This posed major health risks to human and animal populations in the importing countries. Hence, the modalities will also explore joint management approaches to counter factors that would lead to trade bans.

TADs, some of which have a public health impact, such as Rift Valley Fever (RVF), are a major challenge to livestock production, marketing and trade. They also decrease resilience of vulnerable households especially women and youth in arid and semi-arid lands of GHoA.

The forum is jointly organized by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID, Kenya and East Africa) through the Standard Methods and Procedures Project (SMP-AH) and the European Union (EU) through the Enhancing Somali Livestock trade (ESOLT).

The conference was officially opened by Madame Majd Al-Herbawi, Director Animal Health and Development, Ministry of Environment and Water, United Arab Emirates. She informed the participants that the UAE is a regional hub of livestock trade and her Ministry was therefore keen on updating animal health measures to stabilise the trade. She informed the meeting that her government had adopted a number of measures such as the ‘National Agenda for Animal Health’ and hoped that the recommendations of the meeting would contribute towards the achievement of the objects of the agenda.