AU-IBAR under its Knowledge management programme has continued to provide support to member countries of the African Union in animal resources data management under the Animal Resources Information System (ARIS) intervention programme. One of the activities being implemented under this intervention is supporting selected countries to establish Animal Resources (AR) data management and sharing platforms in order to support policy and decision making.
This current intervention is helping to bring together the different agencies and Institutions that are involved in AR data collection and management at the national level to establish viable networks and platforms/fora for the purpose of improving AR data management through improving data collection, management and sharing practices. The platforms when established will be managed and operate within the context of the existing national livestock policy hubs. It is expected that the establishment of the platforms will ease communication difficulties between agencies responsible for AR data collection and management, facilitate the sharing of data, exchange of experiences, sharing of responsibilities, reduce overhead cost and inconsistencies, enhance optimum utilization of scare resources, support professionalism and promote mutual cooperation on Animal Resources data management at national level, among other things.
A three-day Continental workshop to define modalities for operationalization of the platforms was organized from 11 -13 November 2015 at Voila Hotel in Port Louis, Mauritius. The participants at the workshop were the Data/ARIS focal points, National Livestock policy focal points and representations from the national bureaus of statistics from 9 out of the 10 selected pilot countries. The countries present were Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, TChad, The Gambia, Tunisia and Zambia.
In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mauritius who was represented by the CVO Dr Deodass Meenowa, emphasized on the importance of cross sectoral collaboration on animal resources data management. The workshop was declared open by the Director of AU-IBAR Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy who was represented by Mr Linus Chata (Head of Human Resources). He also rationalized the urgent need for establishment of data management platforms that cut across different sectors and highlighted the need for stronger collaboration between the animal resources sector and the national Bureaus for Statistics of member countries. The workshop was facilitated by the AU-IBAR team comprising the Information System Manager/ARIS programme Leader – Dr Ibrahim Gashash Ahmed, the ECOWAS and EAC regional VETGOV Coordinators and two resource persons from the Uganda Ministry of Agricultural Industries and Fisheries Development (MAAIF) and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) Dr Joseph Sserugga and Mr Patrick Okello respectively. At the end of the workshop, participants agreed on the establishment of the national animal resources data platforms in their home countries, the operational modalities and schedule of activities for the platforms. They also identified the core indicators for data collection and developed draft schedule of activities and action plan as well as ways of sustaining the programme in their home countries.
The participants appreciated this intervention by AU-IBAR and strongly advocated for the upscaling of the activity to cover all the countries in Africa as soon as possible.