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.
A team of experts developed a curriculum that will lend a series of training programmes, which will improve the capacities of member states of the African Union in livestock policy analysis, livestock investment , advocacy and communications. The training will be given to trainers, drawn from all member states of the African Union, who have the will and capacities to influence policies towards livestock development.
In a writeshop, held in Dakar, Senegal, from October 26th to 30th, October, 2015, experts from academia, partner institutions, national ministries in-charge of livestock and AU-IBAR, discussed, analysed and set forth the main content outline, which comprised relevant topics on livestock policies, livestock investment and, advocacy and communication, that would feed into the training manual, trainers’ manual, case studies and exercises. Furthermore, the team of experts developed the necessary documents which allow commissioning the curriculum development and training programmes.
In his closing remarks, Dr Simplice Nouala, on behalf of Director of AU-IBAR, Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy, indicated that in the past few years, a paradigm shift in livestock sector has been observed in a way that officials and experts have started to discuss livestock governance issues, which have never been raised in the preceding years. While appreciating this change, Dr Nouala noted, a lot remain to be done in terms of putting appropriate policies and legislations on the ground and such a challenge has required capacities in policy analysis and formulation; and advocacy and communication.
The VET-GOV Programme has continued its support in West Africa to have the Region and its member states spur policy reviews and value chain analyses with a view to advance a vibrant high level sectoral policy dialogue.
The workshop, held from 19th to 23rd of October 2015 in Bijilo, the Gambia, has specifically been focusing on the decision support tool, dubbed EXTRAPOLATE (EX-ante Tool for RAnking POLicy AlTErnatives) and Livestock Value Chain Analysis. The training on EXTRAPOLATE believed to enabled participants assess the impact of different policy measures, by disaggregating the effects of policy interventions and visualize the predicted impacts of policy interventions, based on numerical analysis. The latter offered participants with a deep understanding on methods and tools of analysis of livestock value chains, and their relationships in the actual situation.
Spearheaded by AU-IBAR/VET-GOV Programme, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) of The Republic of the Gambia and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have taken part in the organisation of this regional workshop, which drew over 40 participants, including 26 National Livestock Policy Hub members, from the Region.