By: Kebba AF Touray
The African Union International Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), has started a three day back to back continental consultative capacity building workshop for 50 new National Assembly Members of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and Secretariat Staff.
The objectives of the workshop are to create amongst the members of PAP on the Livestock Development Strategy for Africa (LIDESA), Live2Africa program and its activities and issues relevant for Africa, such as sanitary, regulation and enforcement, as well to articulate the oversight role of MPs on SPS and their tracking using M&E system.
Dr. Baboucarr Jaw, on behalf of AU-IBAR Director, said the workshop is the 7th edition of its kind that bureau has been organising with the aim of sharing experience on sanitary and phytosanitary regulations and enforcement, among other issues on animal resources, within which the roles of the parliamentarians are pivotal.
“The strategic alliance between AU-IBAR and PAP, is even more crucial now considering the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This year, 44 African Union Member States signed the AfCFTA, which is expected to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, thus paving the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union”, he said.
He added “the treaty is expected to increase intra-Africa trade by 52 percent by 2022 and would result in a unified market of over 1.2 billion people, with a combined gross product of over US$3 trillion”.
He said that cognisant of the role played by PAP members, AU-IBAR sees the workshop as a critical initiative for the parliamentarians to contribute in legislation processes and improvement of sanitary regulation and enforcement in AU member states.
In his opening remarks on behalf of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Deputy Speaker, Momodou LK Sanneh, said the move is in the right direction given the critical role of livestock in livelihoods and economic development in Africa, as such recognized the continued role of AU-IBAR in supporting the adoption of strategies, policies and programs on animal resources as well as the harmonization and coordination required in addressing the challenges related to animal resources development.
“I observed with gratitude the efforts made by AU-IBAR to enable the AU Member States to make significant milestones towards the achievements of the Agenda 2063, the blue print for Africa’s socio economic development and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program(CAADP), Malabo declaration”, he said.
Deputy Speaker Sanneh while acknowledging the central role of the parliamentarians in influencing legislative processes and enforcement by AU member states, expressed optimism that the workshop will undoubtedly create awareness amongst the members of PAP on SPS activities and issues relevant for Africa in order to inform sanitary legislation that provide solutions to SPS needs in Africa.
Other speakers on the occasion include Mr. Aurelieu Zingas, representative of the Pan African Parliament