Paris, France, 20th May, 2023: On May 21st, 2023, the inauguration of the PanAfrican Secretariat for Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) Eradication in Africa is scheduled to occur in Paris, France. The establishment of the Secretariat is indicative of Africa's resolve to eliminate PPR and will serve as a mechanism for orchestrating PPR eradication efforts across the African continent by the year 2030. The Pan African PPR Secretariat is composed of institutions under the African Union Commission (AUC), namely the Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (IBAR) and the Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre (PANVAC), as well as international organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), who fall under the Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs) Africa umbrella;. The Secretariat of the Pan-African Secretariat for PPR Eradication in Africa is situated at AU-IBAR, located in Nairobi, Kenya.
The African Union is presently engaging with Ministers of Agriculture and Animal Resources to solicit their assistance in mobilising resources for the establishment of the Pan African Secretariat for the Eradication of PPR by the year 2030. The PPR eradication programme has been widely recognised as a significant initiative, as evidenced by numerous high-level commitments and decisions. There is a public display of efforts to improve cooperation and connections across the continent in an effort to eradicate PPR. Numerous actions have been performed in regard to the PPR Strategy both before and after the establishment of the Pan-Africa PPR Programme (2022-2026) and the public unveiling of the Programme by the Ministers in Charge of Animal Resources on the 17th March, 2022.
The commencement of the Pan African PPR Eradication Programme (2022-2026) was concomitant with the Nairobi Declaration on the Eradication of PPR. This Declaration calls upon the African Union, RECs, Member States, and Partners to renew and strengthen their commitments towards eradicating PPR. It emphasises the need to prevent the persistence of the disease in Africa from impeding the global eradication target set for 2030.
Furthermore, the 4th Session of the Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture Rural Development Water and Environment (ARDWE) issued a recommendation in December 2021. The recommendation urged the African Union Commission, AUDA-NEPAD, RECs, and Member States, with the support of FAO, WOAH and stakeholders to expedite their endeavours in mobilising resources for a programme that is coordinated at the continental level.
The initial stage (2017-2021) of the Pan African PPR control and eradication initiative garnered backing from the European Union and other partners, indicating a clear demonstration of additional investment. The European Union has demonstrated a positive attitude towards investing in the current phase of the Pan Africa PPR eradication programme by expressing their intention to allocate a sum of Euro 100 million. The initial preparatory phase, which is estimated to cost approximately Euro 8 million, is scheduled to commence implementation in 2024. At the national level, member states of the African Union have demonstrated their commitment to managing and eliminating Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) through resource mobilisation efforts; several resources being obtained from local funding and loans.
The inauguration of the PPR Secretariat will take place during the 90th General Session of the World Organisation for Animal Health, which is slated to occur from May 21st to May 25th, 2023. The involvement of Africa in the General Session of the World Assembly of Delegates holds significant importance in tackling the obstacles encountered by the animal resources sector on the continent. The meeting presents a chance for African nations to interact with the international community and acquire knowledge on optimal approaches to animal health and trade. The upcoming session will offer an opportunity to deliberate on the trade of animals and animal products, as well as trade-sensitive and zoonotic diseases, all of which exert a considerable influence on the animal resources sector in Africa. Through active engagement in the meeting, Africa will have the opportunity to share its unique experiences and challenges with the international community, thereby making a valuable contribution to the advancement of global animal health and trade standards.
Women and young people in Africa, in particular, rely heavily on the income generated by goats and sheep to support their families. Sheep and goats, which together make up about a third of the world's small ruminant population, number in the billions in Africa. Most small ruminants in Africa are owned by women and young people in arid and semi-arid regions. Women and young people are more sensitive to socioeconomic shocks and instability; small ruminants provide a safety net in such situations. When comparing sheep and goats to cattle, it is clear that they play a much more significant role in the African Production systems' strategies for adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change. PPR is a fatal disease of sheep and goats that has significant socio-economic and trade implications; and is endemic in most African countries, severely reducing their output and productivity. Out of the 55 countries that make up the African Union, 47 consistently report PPR. That is why organisations like FAO, WOAH, and the RECs are rallying behind Africa Union Member States' push to wipe out PPR by the 2030 deadline.
Picture: Launch of PPR Programme in Nairobi, 2022
More Information on the Launch and background readings:
See Full Launch Agenda
Nairobi Declaration on the Eradication of PPR
AU-IBAR repository on PPR Information Resources
Dr. Nick Nwankpa (A/Director, AU-IBAR): Nick.Nwankpa@au-ibar.org
Dr. Hiver Boussini (Animal Health Expert, AU-IBAR): email@example.com
Ms Irene Uwizeye (Administrative Assistant (firstname.lastname@example.org)