Non-compliance with world animal and plant health and food safety standards is deemed as a major barrier to accessing international agricultural trade and thereby denying countries the exploitation of the competitive advantage of their locally produced commodities, thus missing out on the potential benefits.
The IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), in collaboration with African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), organized a regional training workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November 10-12, 2014. The workshop had the following specific objectives:
• To provide training to public and private sectors’ representatives on the use of science-based methods and scientific arguments in standard-setting and on some principles of the SPS Agreement of the WTO
• To establish regional SPS coordinating committee, discuss and adapt the ToR
• To propose ways of strengthening/establishing national SPS committees
The training workshop involved 27 participants from both the public and private sectors of IGAD Member states, FAO and North Eastern Africa Livestock Council (NEALCO). The welcoming remarks were given by Dr. Ameha Sebsibe, head of livestock on behalf of ICPALD Director and by Dr. Samuel Wakhusama, on behalf of the AU-IBAR Director, and opening remark was delivered by Dr. Bewket Siraw, CVO Ethiopia. In their remarks noted that SPS are needed to protect human from unsafe food. They also indicated that poor participation of Africa Nations in international standard setting and lack of compliance to SPS measures have been major challenges in livestock and livestock product trade development. IGAD in collaboration with AUIBAR took a leading role in coordinating member states in the region to form and strengthen SPS Committees and commended the two institutions for organizing this important training event for both public and private sectors.