Friday, Jul 30, 2021

July 22, 2021 (MANDERA, Kenya): July 22, 2021 (MANDERA, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) through its Nairobi-based Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) today held a ceremony to mark the handing over of 2 tractors to communities in Mandera on March 27.

IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr Workenh Gebeyehu, presided the ceremony along with the Governor of Mandera County, H.E Capt Ali Roba and in the presence of the Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Health of Kenya, and Kenya Country Representative of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations among other officials and digintaries.

The tractors have been bought through the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) funded IGAD-FAO Partnership Programme, which is a programme that seeks to enhance the resilience of communities in selected cross border areas coupled with the strengthening of IGAD’s capacity to effectively lead and facilitate interaction among its member states on policy and investments; thereby fostering the delivery of cross border resilience.

The tractors will be run through a select committee, from for the communities in BP 1 and Khalalio, that will ensure their maintenance and good and fair usage and by all members of these communities. Similar investments have been made on the Ethiopian side of the border. It is in this respect that two other tractors were handed over to the communities of Dollo Ado on the Ethiopian side of the border in April 2021.

In his opening remarks, the Executive Secretary said that the “two tractors and accompanying farm implements for the communities of Border Point 1 (BP1) and Khalalio are essential to containing food insecurity and safeguarding livelihoods by facilitating the timely preparation of land in anticipation of planting seasons now and in the future’. “This equipment will complement existing livelihoods-support efforts across the 3 IGAD Member States of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia for our people living in Mandera, Dolo Ado, Dolo Bey, Belet Hawa and Dollow”, he added.

Today’s event is part of outcome of the IGAD-FAO Partnership Programme where selected communities were taken through a process of identifying their resources and needs and charting a way forward on how to meet these needs.

Community Facilitators were selected and trained on Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) and development of community action plans and proposals for investment. These tractors and implements (Disc plough and disc harrow) are part of the investments for the communities in BP 1 and Khalalio that will help the communities attain timely land preparations at a cost effective rate.

The programme is designed to bring communities at the centre of cross border policy and investment discourse and actions; not only as beneficiaries but as key stakeholders defining the agenda of their future.

As part of institutional capacity building, 22 master trainers have been trained by the project of which 3 were from Mandera County. These are expected to facilitate Agro-Pastoral Field Schools (APFS) within the county. The APFS are innovative way for communities learning from each other and testing technologies that would suit their environments. So far in Mandera, 10 APFS have been set up and have demonstrated huge successes.

IGAD thanks the county Government of Mandera by providing ground support through the ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation of Kenya.

 

 

13th July, 2021 (Virtual): The IGAD region is rich in livestock resources. Moreover, the region is in close proximity to Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the animals are adapted to the citizens of the Gulf. However, the market share of the region so far is limited to about 50% of the live animal and 10% of the annual demand of the MENA countries.

Dr. Ameha Sebsibe on behalf of the Director of ICPALD and Dr. Ricarda Mondry on behalf of FAOSFE Representative made welcome remarks for the virtual meeting. Both reiterated the importance of livestock to pastoral communities in their livelihoods in the region. For pastoral communities and others to reap benefits from their livestock, trade promotion and linkages with affluent importing countries like Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries should be strengthened. Hence, exporting private sector and regulatory authorities acquainting with import requirements as well as reviewing and complying with those import requirements including all documentations are very useful.  It is important to strengthen the capacity of livestock value chain actors right from production to marketing in terms of commercial production, disease management, market linkages among others. This call for strong collaboration between exporters and regulatory authorities from MS, which is inadequate in some countries as well as IGAD member states as a region. The latter will increase market negotiation from the region.

The objectives of the meeting were to update the status of livestock and meat exports, and accompanying challenges to be addressed. Moreover, to asses key gaps faced by trading and marketing agents as inputs for the development tailored training materials. Some of the key observations were exports from Sudan have drastically dropped from over 5 million per year to 0.7 million (half year) due to Covid-19 restrictions as well as instability witnessed in the country; that Saudi has come with new measures to be implemented soon; this covers addition of more diseases to be tested such as blue tongue for all animals exported to it. This is making cost of trade very expensive and uncompetitive.

Recommendations

  1. Countries with support of IGAD and FAO should map out and strengthen compliance with SPS measures from importing countries including animal disease management
  2. IGAD and FAO should support countries to strengthen B2B linkage between IGAD exporting and MENA importing traders
  3. The national regulatory authorities in exporting countries should help private sector exporters to acquaint with import requirements including updated version of the live animal and meat requirements
  4. Countries to utilize opportunities from Covid-19 to meet food security demand of some countries and work on development and diversification of   alternative products, streamline market niche and focus on market intelligence to guide traders on real time best options
  5. Exporting IGAD countries should harmonize laboratory test methods, kits and reagents with MENA importing countries to mitigate consignment rejections
  6. IGAD and FAO should continue supporting the established IGAD-MENA technical committee meetings to facilitate open communication, improve linkages, share data and information and enhance trust as well as transparency to strengthen trade between the two regions
  7. IGAD and partners should facilitate tailor made training for traders’/ marketing agents on the import requirements, accessibility and required documentation
  8. Countries with support of IGAD should strengthen bilateral or multilateral negotiations on rising trade requirements including unnecessary trade barriers like yearly halal accreditation requirements,
  9. IGAD and exporting MS should negotiate with MENA importing countries through IGAD-MENA inter-regional platform for reasonable SPS requirements that are scientifically based, practically applicable to protect their animal and human health while encouraging sustainable trade.

July 05, 2021 (Virtual): An outbreak of unknown camel disease reported from Ethiopia, in the regions of Oromia and Somalia in the months of May and June, 2021. The outbreak in camels is also suspected to have linked to infections in humans, affecting nearly 200 people according to World Health Organization 2021 field report of 12th June, 2021. Symptoms in humans included diarrhea, fever and vomiting associated with the consumption of camel meat. Samples from camels and human cases collected for laboratory investigation at National Animal Health Disease Investigation Center (NAHDIC) but so far, no definitive causative agent identified, though suspect either bacterial or viral infections. A similar outbreak of unknown camel disease occurred in the Republic of Somalia but with no human infections. Some sick cases detected early in Ethiopia and Somalia responded well to common antibiotics such as Penstrep, Tetracycline etc. Kenyan also witnessed a similar outbreak first week of May 2020, that occurred along the crossborder areas with Ethiopia and Somalia; same ecosystem for transhumance and trade. The clinical signs in camels included: Thick, white mucopurulent discharge, lacrimation, difficult/labored breathing, extended neck, enlarged cervical and parotid lymph nodes, recumbence and death in 3-4 days which were similar to those of infected in Ethiopia and Somalia, an indication of might be same causative agent though requires further investigation for definitive diagnosis. ILRI supported diagnosis of samples collected from camels in Kenya, and causative agent diagnosed as Mannheimia Haemolytica.

Due to the related nature of the unknown camel disease along the borders of Somalia –Ethiopia and Kenya; IGAD/ ICPALD convened a regional meeting in collaboration with FAO/SFE and attended by CVOs and technical teams from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda, FAO, OIE, AU-IBAR and ILRI. The key objectives of the meeting were to document the status of the outbreak; preliminary findings and deliberate on how to arrive at definitive causative agent of the disease, its relationship to human infection and control. The deliberations attended by 33 participants. The meeting also developed road map detailing immediate and future actions to identify and control the disease.

The main actions agreed in the roadmap are: Regional task force establishment; develop camel disease standard methods and procedures (SMPs); Coordinated diagnosis for confirmation of zoonotic nature; Supply of the kits and reagents; harmonized surveillance, and Information sharing/ awareness and vaccine development.

 

May 31, 2021: LITS is becoming a pre-requisite for exporting countries to implement in order to access export markets since it is an effective means to successfully protect public health, food safety and contain or respond to an outbreak of an infectious animal disease. It is also useful tool in breeding program and curbing cattle rustling. The system requires two basic components: an identification system (for example brands, marks or a device) and a system that tracks an animal, or group of animals, along the value chain to the final destination. It is imperative that the IGAD region strengthens efforts of disease prevention and control and finds ways of enhancing and sustaining livestock-based trade and its benefits.

IGAD/ ICPALD trained national LITs focal personnel and other team members, developed regional guidelines and legal framework that guide in the implementation of LITS in the member States through its subsequent adaption to national laws. Moreover, the technical and policy makers working in the area were supported to visit good practices and lessons from Namibia. A regional coordination mechanism at IGAD level is also established and so far six (6) regional LITs forum were held through the coordination of IGAD/ ICPALD.  The 7th regional virtual LITS and AHC forum was held for one day on May 31, 2021 with the support of the FAO/SFE.

The meeting objectives were to get updates from IGAD member states on the status of LITs implementation, achievements realized, challenges faced and solutions and to exchange good practices and lessons to help avoid duplication of efforts and improve complementarities on LITS and Animal health certification

The meeting participants were chief veterinary officers; national LITs focal persons and private sectors from each member states. The partners such as OIE, FAO and AUIBAR also participated. The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Obadiah Njagi, the CVO, Kenya. Dr. David Phiri, FAOSFE coordinator and Dr. SJM Munyua, Director of ICPALD also made informative remarks. The participants after hearing the status and discussing the various issues and challenges; recommended the following   

Recommendations

  1. For harmonization of LITS in IGAD MSs, countries should finalize or initiate development of legal frameworks at national level aligned to IGAD guidelines and model legal framework.
  2. Member states (MS) should articulate for integration of LITS activities in national programs to attract funding from national treasuries and work closely with relevant partners working in the areas
  3. MS and IGAD should lobby and advocate for enactment of or fast tracking of national legal frameworks/ proclamations to legalize implementation of LITS activities and expedite enforcement
  4. MSs should undertake awareness creation among mainstream stakeholders at national levels targeting regulatory authorities and private sector (farmers, pastoralists and traders) on the importance of LITS in livestock breeding, disease management, insurance, trade among others. The MS can multiply and use directly or adapt the existing LITs awareness materials published by IGAD and AUIBAR
  5. MS should support capacity building (training) on LITS at national levels for technical experts as well as end users. They can roll out the training provided by IGAD/AUAIBAR to the national LITs focal and team.
  6. MS should design LITS devices at country levels that adopt ISO coding while ensuring interoperability (communication) with livestock movement at national and regional levels
  7. MS with the support of IGAD and other partners should develop relevant infrastructure- database, laptops, servers, crushes etc that will support implementation of or adoption of LITS at regional and national levels
  8. Member states should create an enabling policy and regulatory frameworks that can incentivize the private sector to invest in LITS through PPP model to become major actors
  9. MS with the support of IGAD and other partners should develop bankable proposals to raise financial resources from development partners and private sectors to facilitate adoption or implementation of LITS activities

 

24-28th May, 2021 (Entebbe, Uganda): Under WTO SPS agreement, countries are required to publish all sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS measures) and notify changes to SPS measures. Therefore, countries are required to identify a single central government authority to be responsible for the notification requirements of the SPS Agreement (the notification authority). They are further required to establish an enquiry point responsible for answering questions from other countries about SPS measures and related issues (the enquiry point) to facilitate trade.

In comparison with other geographical regions and major trading partners in agricultural commodities such as Europe and Asia, Africa’s contribution of global notifications on SPS measures was 3% since the establishment of the WTO until September 2019, while the region continues to enact new legislations and regulations, and develop new standards that impact on agricultural trade. Due to this poor notification performance, IGAD/ICPALD in partnership with AU-IBAR organized a 5 days regional training for the NNA, NEP and the private sector from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda from May 24-28, 2021 in Entebe, Uganda. The training was officially opened by Richard Okot, Commissioner of Trade of the Republic of Uganda and attended by 28 trainees. The training is believed to enhance reporting; transparency and trade.

 Below are the follow up steps and recommendations from the training:

 

  1. Follow up steps for ensuring the formulation and or the activation of the regional;
  • National Notification Authority
  • National Enquiry Points
  • SPS Regional or National Committee
  • Standard Operating Procedure
  1. IGAD member states should register for attendance of the online WTO SPS Committee meetings including as observers.

 

  1. National and regional capacity building trainings for private sector and regulatory authorities on:
  • SPS issues
  • Transparency and NEPs
  • Registration and use of the ePing alert
  1. IGAD and AU-IBAR should organize a South to South learning tour for NEP and NNA IGAD members states to e.g. Kenya and South Africa). The learning to include:
  • Operation of the NEP and NNA
  • Coordination with the other relevant agencies, partners and private sector
  • Surveillance procedures where a ban has been imposed
  1. IGAD adapt from AfCFTA an IGAD notification form and procedure for members;
  2. IGAD should develop the work program for the regional SPS Committee to tackle issues affecting the members i.e. assessment of key issues; regular meetings to provide a forum for discussion on the progress and challenges. This will help build capacity for the participation of members at the continental and WTO level for SPS matters.

 

Acknowledgement: IGAD-ICPALD extends its appreciation to AU-IBAR for funding this activity

 

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