AU-IBAR is currently implementing a project “Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of African Animal Genetic Resources” with the support from the European Union and the African Union Commission. The project aims at facilitating and fast-tracking the implementation of the Global Plan of Action (GPA) for sustainable use of animal genetic resources (AnGR) in Africa.
On 24th - 26th July 2016, the AU-IBAR Genetics Project held two consecutive meetings (Technical and Steering Committee) in Cairo, Egypt. The main objective of the 1st meeting (Technical) was to critically discuss the technical merits and progress made by the project towards attainment of the goals. The meeting offered a platform for technical experts drawn from Member States (MS) (Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria and Senegal), the Secretariats of the Sub-Regional Focal Points (S-RFPs) for AnGR (CCARDESA, CEBEVIRHA, CORAF/WECARD and INRAA) and the projects’ implementing partners (CIRDES and ILRI) to review the achievements and challenges of the project and map the way forward. The Steering Committee (SC) meeting was attended by MS (Senegal, Chad, Mauritania, Malawi, Ethiopia and Egypt), RECs (UMA, SADC, ECCAS and IGAD), implementing partners (CIRDES and ILRI), S-RFPs (CORAF/WECARD, CCARDESA, CEBEVIRHA and INRAA), Farmers Organizations (Rwanda National Dairy Platform (RNDP) and Union Maghrébine des Associations Ovines et Caprines (WAMIP). In the technical meeting, participants discussed specific technical aspects of the project and the outcomes were presented to the SC members. The SC meeting discussed the status of the implementation of the Genetics project (technical, financial and Monitoring and Evaluation) as well as the project’s Year 4 Work plan.
In the SC meeting, all the reports presented were endorsed and the team was commended for the good progress in the implementation of the projects activities. Various recommendations were unanimously agreed upon by the SC members.
Key recommendations include: the need to align the project and its achievements to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), the Livestock Development Strategy for Africa (LiDeSA) and the AU Agenda 2063; establish efficient communication and knowledge sharing mechanisms for the dissemination of the project outputs to the various stakeholders; enhance communication between the national, sub regional and continental levels; fast-track sharing of the outputs on the policy studies with relevant stakeholders as evidence to further inform policy making; increase in the number of MS that have formulated National Action Plans (NAPs) for AnGR; establishment of regional breeders associations specific to transboundary breeds.
The 3rd SC meeting was hailed as highly successful and Burkina Faso was proposed as the venue for the next 4th SC meeting.