Livestock in sub-Saharan Africa represents on average 30% of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and about 10% of the national GDP. It is estimated that most of the 250 million people in arid and semi arid lands depend on livestock for their income and livelihoods in this region. However, the sector is seriously constrained by animal diseases, inadequate investments and poor policies; among others Furthermore, unfavorable government policies have contributed to under-funding from the public and private sectors, as well as contributed to poorly functioning institutional settings and weak implementation capacity of policies, regulations and standards that can enhance inter-member states and external trade.
To address the gaps, IGAD Center for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) together with AU-IBAR with funding from the EU, have been supporting livestock policy hubs (LPHs) in IGAD member states to enhance development and review of livestock policies through VET GOV program. The program focuses on enhancing capacity for reviewing/formulating the necessary livestock policies, their implementation strategies and associated action plan and budgets, and the enabling legislation required to bring about the change. Therefore, livestock policy hubs focal points from IGAD member states were invited to a two days workshop that took place from 11-12th April, 2016 in Naivasha, Kenya aimed at strengthening the national policy hubs.
The workshop objectives were to review the status of the LPH and its challenges related to the accomplishment and delivery of its works and sustainability; Draft joint plan to enhance delivery and address the main challenges, Review the existing terms of reference of the LPH; discuss and embrace livestock and meat trade issues; and Discuss on draft review report on trade barriers and enrich for submission to policy makers and other stakeholders.
The opening remarks for the two days’ workshop were made by Dr. Ameha Sebsibe, Head of Livestock and Fisheries at ICPALD; Dr. Tabitha Kimani, Socio Economist at FAO ECTAD and Dr. Bruce Mukanda of AU-IBAR representing the heads of the respective organizations
– For timely delivery on program activities by LPHs, there is urgent need to streamline funds disbursement modalities in addition to lobby for specific funds allocation by MS for specific livestock policy tasks,
– LPHs should strategically review their modus operandi to ensure adequate advocacy at all levels including policy makers, other relevant government policy units, policy beneficiaries and all stakeholders, to ensure proper linkage, anchorage and subsequently lobby for resource allocation from member states for sustainability after VET GOV program,
– Review the communication strategies between AU-IBAR, ICPALD and national LPHs, initiate effective & smart briefing mechanisms (including one pager brief note on LPH) for implementers and high level policy makers,
– Strengthen M & E component to closely follow up on project implementation activities and ensure timely delivery,
– Plan for comprehensive stakeholder capacity building at all levels with competency based training
IGAD/ICPALD appreciates the financial support by AUIBAR/EU