Uniting for Safer Animal Trade: Experts and Stakeholders Shape Guidelines in AfCFTA

Tue, 29-08-2023 15:00:00

From the 20th to the 23rd of June, 2023, in Naivasha, Kenya, a diverse group of experts and stakeholders convened to enhance the trade of animals within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The objective of the meeting was to develop guidelines that would ensure safer trade practices and promote continental harmonisation.

Event Highlights:
The event was opened by Prof. James Wabacha, an Animal Health Expert from AU-IBAR, who stood in for the Acting Director. He emphasized the importance of inspecting animals and their products before trade and highlighted the challenges posed by inconsistent inspection practices across countries.

Prof. Wabacha also welcomed participants and stressed the need for standardized inspection guidelines. He noted that having a common approach would facilitate smoother trade and reduce barriers caused by varying practices.

Dr. Joseph Magona, the Antimicrobial Resistance Expert at AU-IBAR, explained the purpose of the meeting, which was to exchange knowledge and experiences among experts and traders. The ultimate goal was to develop continental inspection guidelines for animal trade.

Attendees engaged in group discussions, sharing their insights and expertise to develop these guidelines. Each participating country presented its own national inspection guidelines, showcasing examples relevant to their context. Discussions focused on various aspects of animal trade. By working together, participants crafted an outline for the inspection guidelines, covering key topics such as principles, scope, and procedures.

The drafted guideline outline will be further refined and circulated among Chief Veterinary Officers and SPS Inspectors in AU member states for feedback. The event facilitated the exchange of insights between SPS inspectors and livestock traders, promoting a better understanding of inspection practices. A structured draft of continental inspection guidelines for animal trade was created, with the potential to enhance trade safety and efficiency.

The Naivasha meeting's joint efforts represent a major advance towards AfCFTA's goal of safer and more efficient animal trade. To remove trade barriers and protect the health of humans and animals alike, specialists and interested parties are harmonising inspection procedures and developing uniform norms. The dedication of AU-IBAR and its member nations to promoting safe and thriving trade throughout Africa was on full display at this event.