In a bid to discuss cooperation and collaboration on information sharing and prevention and control of trade-related Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) at ecosystem level for purposes of facilitating cross-border livestock movement, SMP-AH project held a cross-border meeting for Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya at Dire Dawa, Ethiopia from 8th to 10th December 2014. The meeting was attended by a total of 49 participants drawn from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya,, African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), FAO, Oxfam and USAID.
In his welcome remarks – presented by Dr Henry Wamwayi – the Director, AU-IBAR Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy noted that despite the abundant livestock resources in the Greater Horn of Africa, several constraints hinder their full exploitation. Key among these are TADs, poor policy environment, unregulated livestock movement and lack of harmonisation and coordination of disease control programmes. He further reiterated that SMP-AH interventions are intended to catalyse cooperation, and enhance intra-and inter-regional trade. Historically, cross-border meetings played a big role in the eradication of Rinderpest and still act as a plausible avenue for facilitating sharing of information and experience among participating countries.