IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) in collaboration with AU-IBAR, with financial support from European Union, held a virtual meeting between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Sudan, during which the two countries signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance trans-boundary disease control and livestock trade. They also finalized and endorsed the implementation framework (IF) to operationalize the MoU.
The two-day meeting comprised a technical session on 1st September 2020, followed by a ministerial session on 2nd September 2020. The development of the IF was finalized during the technical session, which put in place the governance structure from each country for follow up and support of the signed MoU implementation. Four key strategic objectives, several specific objectives and various activities were identified and agreed on, to help translate the priority areas or co-operation in the MoU. Thereafter, the ministerial meeting for ministers responsible for livestock culminated in the virtual signing of the MoU by the two ministers.
This achievement will strengthen the two countries’ cooperation and collaboration along their common borders to address animal health issues including harmonized disease surveillance, disease prevention & control, sharing of natural resources, diagnostic infrastructures and timely sharing of animal health and trade information. Participants included ministers, veterinary technical staff from national and border state governments, IFAD, FAO, EU Djibouti delegation, AU-IBAR and ICPALD.
Hon. Fikru Regessa, State Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture – Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Hon. Adil Farah, Undersecretary and Ag. Minister of Animal Resources and Fisheries – the Republic of Sudan opened the meeting. Prof. Ahmed Elsahai, AU-IBAR Director and Dr. S. J. M Munyua, ICPALD Director also made remarks. They all reiterated that signing the cross-border coordination and cooperation on animal health and sanitary measures MoU will benefit the efforts towards harmonized management of trans-boundary animal diseases between the two countries, which will in turn enhance livestock trade.
Moreover, this MoU will facilitate and strengthen the cooperation to curb informal trade that denies the two countries revenue in form of uncollected tax. Furthermore, since the IGAD region is focusing on tapping into the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, which will be launched in January 2021, to open up the huge African continent market, compliance with sanitary measures is key to penetrating into the market. This can only be achieved through effective coordinated and harmonized prevention of trade sensitive diseases, hence the need for a bilateral MoU that should be implemented for the benefit of the two countries and the region.
The two ministers in the communique agreed to:
- Advocate and maintain political will at the highest level of their two countries, in support of the MoU and the IF aimed at operationalizing the MoU.
- Mobilize required resources from within our respective countries, in collaboration with IGAD, AU-IBAR and other partners from the donor community to fund various activities in the MoU areas of cooperation and the IF.