In collaboration with the AU-IBAR, the Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Liberia and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); the National Consultative Multidisciplinary Stakeholders Workshop on the establishment of a Livestock Policy Hub (LPH) took place in Monrovia, Liberia from the 6th – 10th May 2013. The Workshop was attended by 42 participants representing stakeholders, including senior staff of state and non-state actors (government, civil society organizations, community based organizations, private sector organizations, academia, the National Livestock Policy Focal Point and the AU-IBAR VET-GOV Program team.
The overall objective of the Workshop was to provide a better understanding of the VET-GOV Programme, paving the way to the improvement of the livestock sector through related policies, animal health strategies and veterinary legislations in Liberia.
In the opening session a key note address was delivered by Dr Abdelrazig Abdulaziz, the VET-GOV Technical Assistant on behalf of Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy, Director of AU-IBAR. In his remarks Dr Abdelrazig Abdulaziz outlined the AU-IBAR mandates and provided a briefing on the VET-GOV Programme's overall and specific objectives, drawing attention to the concept of the LPH and the expected results and emphasized the role of the LPH as a mechanism for an inclusive approach that brings together representatives of public sector, non-state actors, private sector, civil society, NGOs, research, academia, and farmers organizations at the national and regional levels in the implementation of the VET-GOV Programme.
Dr. Sizi Subah, Deputy Minister for Technical Services of the Ministry of Agriculture stressed the strategic goals of the LPH in Liberia and its expected outputs. The Acting Minister, Dr. Moses Zinnah, welcomed all participants and said that livestock is very strategic for the overall food security of Liberia and emphasized how Liberia is in full support of such policy workshop. On behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Florence A. Chenoweth, Dr. Zinnah declared the workshop officially opened for deliberations.
The workshop outcome
The Workshop recommended the establishment of a national LPH in Liberia and to provide means and measures to ensure commitment, ownership and running of the Hub, The LPH will be hosted within the Ministry of Agriculture and linked to the Livestock Bureau. It was also recommended to sustain the operations of the LPH through recurrent national budgets, and for ECOWAS to institutionalize the support to the LPH in terms of coordination, integration, harmonization and backstopping.
Linkages are to be created between the LPH with the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) national and regional teams in charge of developing and monitoring the national CAADP compacts and to follow up on the activities proposed under the livestock sub-program of the Liberia Agriculture Sector Investment Program (LASIP).
They agreed upon a list of gaps and proposed engagement entry points which will constitute the agenda for the LPH first year meetings.
The Workshop also recommended the need for adequate funding to the livestock sector in general and the LPH in particular from the national budgets to implement these action plans and sustain the activities of the LPH beyond the VET-GOV program, as well as follow up on the implementation of the Food and Agricultural Policy and Strategies (FAPS).
On post-conflict issues, the workshop recommended to support post-conflict livestock development programs and to initiate and implement livestock productivity recovery programs, as well as retaining/maintaining Liberia membership in international organizations.
The closing session was addressed by the Dr. Sizi Subah, Deputy Minister for Technical Services, Ministry of Agriculture.