Livestock socio-economic and policy network improves formulation of policies in Africa
FAO in collaboration with the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and other partners launched, on 10 July, a continental network of livestock socio-economics and policy.
The goal is to contribute to economic growth, poverty reduction, food and nutritional security in Africa by providing timely and accurate information to guide livestock policies, strategies and plans in order to increase the subsectors contribution to economic development and public health.
The network was launched following the first regional meeting for livestock socio-economists in Africa at the Jacaranda Hotel in Nairobi, from 8-9 July 2013. The meeting was convened to address the need for a continental network to promote adequate policies and sound investment in animal health and livestock development in general; address gaps in data availability, harmonized methods of data collection and analysis; and connect the scattered expertise across countries.
FAO eyes strengthening the regional networks on various thematic areas including socio-economics and it is with this regard that the Regional Office for Africa (RAF) and Emergency Centre for Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) are working to establish a continental network on the economics of livestock in Africa.
The cost of an outbreak of Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (TADs) can be devastating on livestock producers, consumers and other value chain players. The possible impact of such an outbreak includes but is not limited to market disruption and loss of livelihoods and a wide scale depopulation of livestock, leading to erosion of genetic diversity.
Comprehensive analysis is often lacking on the long term costs and impacts of the control of TADs as well as emerging and re-emerging diseases in Africa. There are limited skills and knowledge and a mismatch between the sources and users of information on the impact of TADs.
Speaking on behalf of the FAO Representative in Kenya, the regional manager for FAO-ECTAD, Bouna Diop,emphasized the need for all institutions present, to clearly delineate the actions that will address the inadequate policies through the Vet Governance programme.
FAO has a lot of expertise in livestock economics which can be called upon to build the capacity on socio-economics. “The universities and research institutes also have a big role to play in addressing gaps,” Diop said.
As a technical agency, FAO will make every effort to continue to collaborate with other international, regional, and national institutions to provide assistance wherever possible. It is expected that the regional network activities will lead to improved development and the use of socio-economic tools and analysis in livestock policy formulation and implementation in Africa.
Attending the workshop were, among others representatives from the World Bank, OIE, AU-IBAR, RECs (COMESA, EAC, IGAD), ILRI, universities, KARI, KIPPRA , ministries in charge of livestock from Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and FAO (RAF and ECTAD).