12-13th March 2020 (Entebbe, Uganda); IGAD Center for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) in collaboration with USAID; AU-IBAR and RPLRP supported IGAD member states to develop and validate national SPS strategies aligned to IGAD regional SPS strategy. Most countries also supported to establish and operationalize national SPS committees to enhance inter-sectoral collaboration and share lessons regularly for improved compliance with SPS standards.
A two-day regional meeting was convened in Entebbe, Uganda to assess the progress of implementation of the national strategies; action plan and national SPS committees in all IGAD member states with an aim of strengthening their operations and share lessons and good experiences among countries. Dr. Anna Rose Ademun, the Chief Veterinary Officer, Uganda, officially opened the meeting while Dr. Solomon Munyua, the Director of IGAD Center for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) made welcome remarks. Both reminded participants that countries should be aware of African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) that will come into force in July 2020 and therefore improve on their SPS compliance status in order to benefit from African common market of more than 1.3 billion population. Twenty six (26) participants drawn from the ministries responsible for animal resources and national standard agencies from IGAD member states, ARSO, AU-IBAR, the private sector involved in the area and IGAD/ICPALD, attended the meeting. The following recommendations were made:
- Countries and all relevant implementers (IGAD, AU-IBAR, ARSO) should continue with awareness creation/ advocacy and publicity of SPS strategies, standards and AfCFTA agreement to mainstream stakeholders utilizing any available opportunities and resources,
- The regulatory authorities and the private sector should work closely to strengthen self or regulated compliance with SPS measures and all established standards to ensure seamless trade from the region,
- Member States, IGAD, AU-IBAR and ARSO should continue with resource mobilization and coordination to facilitate regional harmonization of some grades and standards of livestock commodities such live animals, meat, milk and hides and skins among others
- Countries should establish/ strengthen inter-sectoral coordination through national SPS committees and use any available resources to undertake regular meetings and implement their national activities,
Acknowledgement: ICPALD expresses appreciation to USAID for financing this activity