Strengthening livestock policy hubs and coordination of livestock policy issues in the ECOWAS Region

Tue, 19-07-2022 15:00:00

A workshop to strengthen livestock policy hubs and coordination of livestock policy issues in the ECOWAS Region was convened from 7th to 9 July 2022 in Ouagadougou Burkina. The meeting was attended by ECOWAS Department of Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries, the Regional Animal Health Center (RAHC-ECOWAS), and 14 member states namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal and Togo, including Farmer Associations, and representatives from the African Women in Animal Resources Farming and Agribusiness Network (AWARFA) from Burkina Faso, and Ghana.

Speaking on behalf of AU-IBAR’s Acting Director, Dr. Nick Nwanpta, Dr. Hiver Bousinni, took time to express gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission, and various stakeholders for the long-standing strategic partner in the development and implementation of policies, strategies, programmes and projects for the development of animal resources in the region and in Africa. He further recognised the important role of African policymakers in recognizing the need to improve livestock production in order to meet the growing demand for animal-based food from increasingly urbanized African consumers.
The opening ceremony was chaired by Mr. Victor Bonogo, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Resources and Fisheries of Burkina Faso. The agenda for the programme included a review of Continental and Regional Initiatives on Livestock Development; an update on National Policies, Laws, and Coordination Mechanisms to promote Livestock; and discussion sessions.

The livestock development policy platforms aim to review and update national livestock development policies as well as laws and legislation that were mostly outdated because they date back to the years of independence. There is a need to strengthen policy related activities in African Union member states due to difficulties common to most of these political platforms. These challenges include the need to allocate resources and the develop governance and legal frameworks for their functioning, including low advocacy capacity and a weak ability to demonstrate their weight and impact in the economic and social development of their country. With the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, there is greater need for strategic positioning of the livestock sector in the AfCFTA to enable Africa to reap the socio-economic benefits of the sector has become more urgent. Functional livestock policy platforms will be crucial towards this advancement.