The Third General Assembly of the African Apiculture Platform (AAP) on Honey Production, Bee Health and Pollination Services, was held from 21st-23rd September 2016 at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village, Kigali, Rwanda. The theme of the General Assembly was “Promoting Intra and Inter Regional Trade of Honey and Other Beehive Products in Africa”. This theme is well aligned to the Malabo Declaration Agricultural Transformation Agenda which aims to triple intra-African trade as a means to address food insecurity and youth unemployment, and to increase incomes and economic growth.
The AAP is a multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) facilitated by the African Union-InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), which is mandated to provide leadership in the development of Africa’s animal resources. The AAP draws on the convening power of the African Union to bring key public sector actors i.e.., AU Member States (MS) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on to the same forum with the private sector, beekeeper associations, non-governmental organizations, and academia and research institutions and consumer bodies. This gives the Platform legitimacy, unprecedented leverage, and a strong mandate for substantive agenda setting, information and knowledge exchange, policy reform, and advocacy. Key objectives of the AAP are facilitating collaboration of stakeholders, advocating for an enabling policy framework for the sector and for increased public and private investment, and promoting knowledge sharing, capacity development and partnership development.
The General Assembly, which is the main forum of the AAP, brings all members and caucuses of the Platform together and is the main forum of the AAP at which issues are discussed/ debated on, and where the key decisions are made and coordinated actions for implementation of the decisions agreed among all sector actors.
The 3rd General Assembly of the AAP was held as a joint event with ApiExpo Africa 2016, a private sector led initiative under ApiTrade Africa which was meeting under the theme “Driving Socio-Economic Transformation in Africa: the Role of Commercial Beekeeping”.
The Government of the Republic of Rwanda hosted both events at the same venue providing an opportunity for cross-interaction and resulting in greater dialogue between state and non-state actors.
The General Assembly was attended by ninety-six (96) delegates from forty (40) African Union Member States: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia (The), Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Four Regional Economic Communities attended: Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Arab Maghreb Union (UMA).