The Ghana National Animal Resources Data Management Platform (ARDMP) officially launched

The Ghana National Animal Resources Data Management Platform (ARDMP) was officially launched by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) Deputy Minister, Hon. Dr. Hanna Bisiw in Accra, Ghana on 18th August 2016.

The launch was part of a 3 day workshop undertaken to streamline the concept and activities of the national ARDMP. The primary objective of the platform is to improve policy and decision making through improved data collection and management. It’s core activities will be implemented through the support provided by the African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) under the “Reinforcing of Veterinary Governance in Africa” (Vet-Gov) project.

During the ceremony, the Hon Minister lamented that Africa spends $4 billion each year on import of livestock and livestock products and highlighted the urgent need to reverse this trend. She further highlighted some of the constraints that have continued to be a hindrance in the development of the livestock sector within the continent. One primary issue stressed is the paucity of good quality data and information to support policy formulation and decision making. The Minister reiterated the importance of improved data management as envisaged under this intervention which aims at bringing together all organizations (public and private) that are involved in various forms of animal resources data collection and management across the country into a single platform in order to streamline their activities and strengthen information sharing.

The Director of AU-IBAR, Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy in his speech read by Dr. Ibrahim Gashash Ahmed (Information System manager/Animal Resources Information System Coordinator) highlighted the importance of data and information for policy and decision making. He pointed out that AU-IBAR is supporting all AU-MSs in the area of data management through the ARIS programme, and further said that the current intervention on establishment of national ARDMP is being piloted in selected 10 Member States. He congratulated Ghana for being the 1st country to formally launch its platform.

Following the official launch of the National ARDMP, a 3 day workshop was convened to streamline the roles and operational modalities of the platform under the national Livestock policy hub earlier established under the Vet-Gov project. The platform is expected to strengthen partnership, linkages and working relation between various AR data sources at country level.

The three day workshop (August 17th – 19th 2016) was attended by a total of 35 participants drawn from 21 public and private sector organizations. .They include representatives from the Ministry for Food and Agriculture (MOFA), the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Ministry of Health, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Universities and Research Institutions, Wildlife services, Department of Customs & Excise and Livestock producer associations among others.

Presentations and group discussions were held on various topics including progress on implementation of the Vet-Gov project, the situation of the national livestock Policy hubs (NLPHs), the ARIS roll out, Data collection and indicator identification and stakeholder analysis etc.

Various recommendations were unanimously agreed by the participants which included; Review of stakeholder analysis and core livestock data to further inform evidence based decision making; Identification of data sources, methods of collection and quality control; Development of a roles and responsibilities framework between various AR data collection and management Agencies and organizations; Development of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Veterinary Services Directorate, the Ghana Statistical Service, School of Veterinary Medicines, Ghana Private Veterinarians Association and other partners that will be involved in the platform, and the Development of an annual workplan for the National ARDMP.