VETERINARY GOVERNACE programme that is being implemented by ICPALD in partnership with AU-IBAR and funded by the European Union (EU) has been supporting North Eastern Africa Livestock Council (NEALCO) to promote regional and international trade. NEALCO is a private sector regional livestock stakeholders' association constituted by national livestock traders’ associations drawn from 13 countries, namely: Burundi, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania with the main objective of promoting, coordinating, sharing information and advocating for enhanced trade in livestock and livestock products within North Eastern Africa and Middle East Countries and beyond. The association has recruited livestock associations into national chapters from six (6) member states, namely; Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The association further has developed a five year strategy, constitution.

However, the association has been facing several challenges including: (1) Limited number of national livestock associations from which NEALCO derives membership as a result of inadequate advocacy, (2) Limited capacity (financial, technical and organizational weakness) of livestock and livestock related associations in most member states due to poor investment attraction strategies, (3) Poor linkage between various actors e.g. producers and processors, credit suppliers, technology suppliers as a result of inadequate communication, and (4) inappropriate policies, legislations and investments that can ensure a comprehensive livestock development.

Therefore, training in Policy, Investment, Communication and Advocacy (PICA) for the national chapters from the six countries and Somalia was organized to support and enhance the capacity of the members of  the association thereby deliver their commitment stated in the NEALCO strategy . The training took place from 21-25th November, 2016 in Entebbe, Uganda whereby Twenty one (21) association members were trained.  The following recommendations were made:

1.    The trainees should share the knowledge and skill obtained on the training to the NEALCO members in their respective countries 
2.    Trainees should further be trained in Leadership, Investment and Marketing (LIM) to enhance their skills in management issues, foster investment and marketing
3.    In future, a comprehensive training should include field visits to serve as practical learning ways for participants
4.    ICPALD should support national and regional NEALCO members to participate in some of the trade fairs organized by Kenya Livestock Production Association (KLPA) to practically learn ways of fund raising to support the association