Hotel Venus 2-3 April 2014, Kinshasa, DRC. Within the framework of "Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa" (VETGOV) programme, the Democratic Republic of Congo has launched its livestock policy Hub which will serve to develop and enhance livestock policies and strategies in DRC.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development with his entire cabinet attended the opening and closing ceremonies in the presence of Dr. Hiver Boussini, Animal Health Officer, representing AU-IBAR at the event. Honorable Chrisostome Vahamwiti, Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, in his opening remarks, welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of livestock in DRC. He however echoed that DRC is a net importer of animal protein despite the sector's potential. Several initiatives were evoked including the current vaccination campaign against PPR, Anthrax, and CBPP where the Government has allocated 1.5 million USD.
The Minister underscored the importance of good policy to boost livestock development in DRC. He highlighted the need for the policy hub to operate on the principles of holistic participation and inclusiveness. He thanked The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) for the initiatives and support to set up and operationalize such a platform through VETGOV program. He also expressed grateful appreciations to AU-IBAR for the relentless support to DRC through various projects and programs.
Dr. Hiver Boussini ,in delivering the Director of AU-IBAR's speech stated that the objective of the meeting is to inaugurate Livestock Policy Hub and further discuss on identified livestock policy and strategy gaps. Discussions will also be held on Livestock Development Policy, Livestock Strategic Plan, and Animal Health Strategy which are believed to be under development.
The livestock policy hub is a multidisciplinary national platform for dialogue, exchange, policy and strategy development, legislation and regulations involving all livestock value chain actors for improving the institutional environment the livestock sector.
The workshop brought together Stakeholders from governmental, non-governmental, civil society organization and research and academia.
Recommendations were addressed to the national government and AU-IBAR to support the policy hub throughout the implementation of the developed and adopted action and road map.
During the closing ceremony, the Minister took cognisance of the recommendations and pledged his availability and support to the platform. He promised to brief the Prime Minister and advocate for the creation of a permanent secretariat for livestock and fisheries as well as the adoption by the parliament of the veterinary law.
The Minister concluded by inviting the entire platform members to fulfill the commitment taken during this launching workshop and to meet the different deadlines of the adopted roadmap.