ICPALD organized a cross-border meeting in Khartoum, Sudan from 15th to 17th August 2016 between Sudan and Ethiopia supported by the VetGov and SMP-AH projects, projects implemented in partnership with AU-IBAR and funded by the EU and USAID, respectively. The main aim of the cross-border meeting was to initiate development of a binding agreement between Sudan and Ethiopia to provide a framework for stronger cooperation and collaboration along their bilateral border in order to address disease surveillance, disease control and timely sharing of animal health and trade information. The meeting brought together 30 participants from Sudan, Ethiopia, and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). Participants consisted of Veterinary staff, Foreign Affairs Experts from National Governments and Experts from IGAD and AU-IBAR.
In his remarks, Dr Joseph Magona, on behalf of Dr Solomon Munyua, the Acting Director IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) noted that the IGAD regional had immense livestock resources that are severely affected by transboundary animal diseases. ICPALD therefore supports the improvement of livestock health and production especially in pastoral and dryland within the region. This necessitates strong cross-border collaboration and cooperation between countries.
In his remarks, Dr Joseph Magona, on behalf of the Director of AU – IBAR, Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, noted that livestock represented on average 30% of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and about 10% of the national GDP. Up to 250 million poor people depended on it for their income and livelihoods in Sub-Sahara Africa. Unfortunately, transboundary animal diseases severely constrained the health and productivity of livestock in region. For this matter, two projects namely, the VETGOV project and the Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health (SMP-AH) project supported harmonization and coordination of the control of transboundary animal diseases especially in cross-border areas.
In his remarks, Prof Jama, the FAO representative in Sudan thanked the organizers for bringing together Sudan and Ethiopia to develop a binding agreement to facilitate harmonization and coordination of the control of transboundary animal diseases in cross-border areas.
In his remarks, Dr Yismashewa, on behalf of the Chief Veterinary Officer for Ethiopia emphasized the importance of agriculture in general and livestock in particular in most countries in the region as regards its contribution of national economies. He noted historical relationship between the two sister countries, Sudan and Ethiopia. He stated that both countries were rich in livestock resources; nonetheless, the sector was highly constrained by transboundary animal diseases. Strong collaboration for harmonization of control programmes was desired in order to avert the problem.
In his opening remarks, Dr Kamal, strongly reflected on the long historical relationship between Ethiopia and Sudan. He also added that the ties between the two countries were multi-directional such as socio-economic, cultural, and geo-political. He encouraged both countries to exploit such relationships to work together as they addressed cross-border issues.
The meeting identified the following key cross-border issues to be addressed:
- Trans-boundary animal diseases including FMD, CBPP, PPR, CCPP, S&G pox, Camel pox, RVF, Rabies, LSD, Brucellosis, trypanosomosis and vectors such as mosquitoes, tsetse flies, ticks and mites as well as other emerging diseases
- Uncontrolled movement of livestock and livestock products during:
- in search for pasture and water
- Cattle rustling/ theft
- Inadequate communication on livestock matters (vaccinations, disease surveillance and reporting)
- Uncoordinated disease control measures including vaccinations, quarantines
- Enforcing/harmonization of livestock movement controls (certificates, rubber stamps and brands)
The meeting agreed upon the following issues as the centre piece for collaboration:
- Control of trans-boundary animal diseases (TADs) including FMD, CBPP, PPR, CCPP, S&G pox, Camel pox, RVF, Rabies, LSD, Brucellosis, trypanosomosis and vectors such as mosquitoes, tsetse flies, ticks and mites as well as other emerging diseases through surveillance, detection, vaccination, reporting, information sharing, livestock movement control, and awareness creation for communities
- Mapping and control of stock routes, border livestock markets, check posts, zoo-sanitary border posts and natural resources (water and pasture), including control of invasive weeds
- Enforcement of regulations on use of veterinary drugs and vaccines
- Control of livestock movements and facilitate livestock trade through health inspection and certification
- Access to cross-border livestock related infrastructure including Diagnostic Laboratories, Cold Chain, quarantines and Holding Grounds
- Joint promotion of Livestock Identification and Traceability
- Joint coordinated capacity building of stakeholders
- Promotion of Cross-border networking among stakeholders
- Commit resources (financial, infrastructure and personnel) to achieve the agreed animal health issues and sanitary measures.
The meeting agreed to implement the cross border cooperation and coordination in the identified areas of states of Blue Nile, Sennar, Gedarif and Kassala in the Republic of the Sudan and the identified areas of Tigray, Amhara and Benishangul-Gumuz regional states in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. ICPALD acknowledges of EU and USAID for financing the event through VET GOV, SMP projects.