IGAD and FAO have been implementing a regional project on “Improving Supply of Safe and Quality Livestock and Meat Exported from the Horn of Africa to Middle East and North African (MENA) Countries” funded by the Italian International Cooperation.

The region has huge potential to export livestock and meat to the MENA countries' market which have a high demand for livestock and livestock products. Currently, the region is exporting 50% of live animals and less than 10% of the annual demand by MENA countries even though these countries are in close proximity and have a preference for livestock from the Horn of Africa countries. The potential to export to MENA is faced with a number of challenges including poor communication between the exporting and importing countries regarding required sanitary requirements, imposition of unfair regulations and unjustified animal rejections. ICPALD therefore convened an Inter-Regional joint meeting of IGAD -MENA countries to improve  collaboration  & enhance livestock trade that took place from 11-12th August, 2016 in Naivasha; Kenya.

The workshop was officially opened by Dr. Juma Ngeiywa, the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) of Kenya after welcoming remark made by Dr. Solomon Munyua, ICPALD Ag. Director. Both emphasized on the importance of networking, building confidence, transparency and trust between the exporting and importing countries. The meeting was attended by regulatory body  from Egypt and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and CVOs from Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia; Kenya; South Sudan and Uganda. The meeting established a joint committee (IGAD-MENA) and reviewed and agreed its Terms of Reference.

The following recommendations were reached:
•    Enhance frequent bilateral meetings between IGAD MS and MENA countries under the guidance and coordination of IGAD and MENA
•    The IGAD-MENA joint committee shall play advocacy and facilitation role to embrace relevant private sectors and promote networking and trade collaboration between the two regions
•    Promote communication between the importing and exporting countries through use of modern communication technologies

ICPALD expresses its appreciation to Italian International Co-operation for funding this activity.