A Commitment to Progress: AU-IBAR and WOAH's MoU Renewal

Fri, 07-06-2024 15:00:00

The African Union, acting through the Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) have signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a significant milestone celebration of the WOAH's 100th anniversary. During the 91st WOAH General Session of the World Assembly of Delegates, which was held in Paris on Thursday, May 30th, signing ceremonies were conducted. 

This memorandum of understanding is primarily designed to establish a revised framework for cooperation between the parties, subject to their respective rules and regulations and within their respective competencies. It is the objective of this framework to facilitate the Parties' more efficient pursuit of their shared interests and objectives. 

Dr. Huyam Salih, Director of AU-IBAR, and Monique Eliot, Director General of WOAH, were among the distinguished dignitaries who attended the signing ceremony. In addition, senior staff from both organisations were in attendance, including Dr. Jean-Philippe Dop, Deputy Director General of WOAH, Dr. Karim Tounkara, WOAH Regional Representative for Africa, and senior staff from AU-IBAR. 

Key statements were delivered by Director General Monique Eliot during the ceremony. She expressed her gratitude for the leadership of the new Director of AU-IBAR and foresaw a more robust partnership between the two organisations. The appreciation was reciprocated by Dr. Huyam Salih, Director of AU-IBAR, who underscored the significance of advancing the One Health Agenda. Dr. Salih also extended her congratulations to WOAH on the election of Dr. Emmanuelle Soubeyran as the new Director General. 


After the MoU was signed, the focus of the discussions was on the enhancement of collaborations between AU-IBAR and WOAH in order to ensure the successful implementation of the Preparatory Phase of the PPR Eradication project, "EU Support to the Eradication of PPR (Peste des Petits Ruminants) from Africa." The shared commitment of both organisations to addressing critical challenges in animal health and welfare is emphasised by this initiative, which is supported by the European Union. 

AU-IBAR and WOAH are complementary in their pursuit of sustainable development, animal welfare, and health, as they fulfil distinct yet interrelated duties. The African Union's specialised technical office, AU-IBAR, is responsible for the leadership in the development of animal resources throughout the continent, with a particular emphasis on livestock, fisheries, and wildlife. In the interim, WOAH, the global authority on animal health, establishes international standards and guidelines to protect the health and welfare of animals worldwide. AU-IBAR and WOAH have collaborated over the years to confront shared obstacles, including sustainable agriculture, food safety, and disease control, by utilising their respective networks, resources, and expertise. An MoU was first signed in 2001 between OIE and the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 2001, the agreement was renewed in 2015, between OIE and AU-IBAR, on behalf of the African Union Commission. Ultimately, their collaboration contributes to the improvement of animal health outcomes, enhanced food security, and the promotion of resilient and sustainable agricultural systems in Africa and beyond by fostering synergies in research, capacity building, and policy development. 

The areas of collaboration and other provisions enumerated in the MoU represent a reaffirmed dedication to collaborative endeavours in the eradication of diseases, welfare, and animal health. AU-IBAR and WOAH are on the brink of making substantial progress in the pursuit of their mutual objectives and in the wider global agenda of animal health and welfare as a result of this enhanced collaboration. 

Read more: WOAH 91st General Assembly Session and Its Relevance for Africa

pictures: @WOAH