The need for increased investment in the livestock sector has been recognised at the highest levels of governments in Africa through the Maputo/Sirte Declaration of 2003/2004. This has been further strengthened through the Malabo Declaration, which was tendered to realize African Union’s vision of “Accelerated Africa Agriculture Growth and Transformation” as stated in Agenda 2063.
Following these milestones, AU-IBAR developed the “Livestock Development Strategy for Africa (LiDeSA)”, which is believed to be instrumental to transform the livestock sector by harnessing its underutilized potential.
The reinforcing veterinary governance (VET-GOV) Programme attaches a significant importance to evidence-based advocacy by ascribing it as one of the key areas of focus. According to VET-GOV technical document, the purpose of the advocacy work is to facilitate the core tasks through catalyzing dialogues on the significance of progressive policy frameworks, and sustainable and adequate investment for the sector.
The VET-GOV Programme developed a Communication and Advocacy Strategy, for the delivery of a series of forums, which allows regional and national policy makers discuss about and forge consensus on livestock policy reforms and investment issues.
In this regard a high level forum was held in Nairobi at AU-IBAR premises from 17th to 20th November 2015 for engagement and creation of awareness on the need for policy reforms and an increased profile of livestock in the national planning and budgetary documents amongst the Permanent Secretaries of Ministries responsible for livestock development and the Ministries responsible for national planning and budget allocations.
The attendees of the forum were the Permanent Secretaries of Ministries responsible for livestock development and the Ministries responsible for national planning and budget allocations from Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland, Zamia and Zimbabwe. In attendance also were representatives from AUC, AU-IBAR, FAO, and the OIE.
The forum whose broader agenda was to foster policy reforms and an increased profile of livestock in the national planning and budgetary documents amongst the Permanent Secretaries responsible for livestock development and national planning and budget allocations, was presided over by Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy the Director of AU-IBAR and officially opened by the professor Fred Segor the principal secretary, State Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and fisheries, Republic of Kenya, representing the HE the Minister.
Major recommendations centred on:
- Implementation of the Malabo Declaration
- Institutional strengthening of veterinary services
- Livestock policy development
- Establishment of a Community of Practice
- Sustainability of the Permanent Secretaries forum
- Domestication of the fisheries and aquaculture policy framework
- Increasing public budgetary allocation to livestock