Through an EU-funded project on “strengthening the capacity of African countries to conservation and sustainable utilization of African animal genetic resources (AnGRs) implemented by AU-IBAR, IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) was financed to develop a Regional Model Policy/Legal Framework for Conservation, Sustainable Utilization and Access and Benefit Sharing of Farm Animal Genetic Resources. It was validated in a regional workshop in August, 2018 in Nairobi by all member states and development partners. IGAD/ ICPALD convened a regional stakeholder workshop in Entebbe, Uganda from 18-20th April, 2019 to create awareness and lobby for domestication of the model policy and legal framework by member states. Thirty-three participants included technical staff from ministries responsible for animal resources from IGAD MS, ICPALD, ILRI, ICARDA and FAOSFE participated. The workshop concluded with a visit to the Ugandan animal genetic resource center and data bank and the sub-regional gene bank that has been refurbished and equipped by AU-IBAR.
Dr. Juliet Sentumbwe, the commissioner of MAAIF, Animal Production division officially opened the three days workshop. She emphasized on the need to enhance awareness and facilitate domestication of the model policy and legal framework at member states (MS) level. This will help safeguard African animal genetics especially of transboundary breeds, those at risk of extinction and those resistant to a number of diseases. Welcome remarks also made by Dr. Solomon Munyua, ICPALD Director and Dr. Edward Nengomasha on behalf of AU-IBAR Director. The meeting made the following recommendations and way forward:
- MS should coordinate stakeholders and timely domesticate the IGAD regional model policy and legal framework on AnGR as per the time line agreed or before as appropriate
- AU-IBAR and IGAD should finalize material transfer agreement and memorandum of understanding that will facilitate interested countries to utilize the sub-regional gene bank in Entebbe, Uganda
- MS that are yet to initiate or finalize domestication of global plan of action on AnGR should strive to put in place the national plan of action as a matter of urgency while those who have developed move forward with implementation,
- MS should promote public private partnership on management and utilization of AnGRs
- Research partners such as ILRI, ICARDA should design simple messages on key findings of AnGR research and share to stakeholders for dissemination
ICPALD expresses appreciation to AU-IBAR and EU for funding this activity