The regional consultative meeting on optimizing returns from intra-African trade in animals and animal products under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), is a step towards implementing the AfCFTA.
From 24 to 25 March 2021, the member states of COMESA, specialized agencies and actors involved in the implementation of this strategic framework exchanged on technical issues regarding the preparedness of member states to use the opportunities availed through AfCFTA, including the Governance structure.
This consultative meeting provided an overview around the following priority areas with respect to trade in animals and animal products:
- The policy, legislative, regulatory, and institutional (organizational) status,
- Inspection and control, compliance and enforcement functions,
- Implementation status of the AfCFTA Agreement especially Annex VII dealing with sanitary and phytosanitary measures (risk assessment/equivalence, regionalisation, transparency, harmonization )
- Inter-sectoral and ministerial collaboration,
- Availability and application of standards on identified priority animals and animal products,
- Priority national value chains
- Lessons /challenges and prospects on market access
- Recommendations on actions required to optimize MS and COMESA’s position in the AfCFTA
AU-IBAR, for its part, provided data for the preparation and positioning of the animal resources sector to participate in the AfCFTA including livestock, fisheries and, aquaculture.
The Regional Consultative Meeting was attended by Ministry of Agriculture, State Department of Livestock, Ministry of trade and Industry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Office of international trade), Ministry of Health (National body in charge of food safety), National Bureau of Standards, and the Private sector (notably, theNational Livestock Producers and Traders Association, Chamber of Commerce and Industry).
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN-FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), and Intergovernmental Authority of Development (IGAD) also participated.