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Creation in Africa of the first Regional Centre for Animal Health

The first Regional Centre for Animal Health was created in Bamako , Mali. For the first time an official agreement between OIE, FAO and the African Union's specialised bureau for development of livestock (IBAR) led to a new concept which pools together and creates synergies between each signing organisation's mandates and resources for the prevention and control of animal diseases in the region.

The Centre will act as a framework for the coordination and harmonisation of strategies for monitoring and evaluation of avian influenza control activities in the region. The OIE Regional Representation for Africa will take on the role of the new Centre's permanent secretariat.

Each organisation will provide experts and intervene in areas according to their field of expertise. They will join forces on a number of activities such as the evaluation and strengthening of Veterinary Services, animal diseases and zoonoses control strategies as well as harmonization of national emergency response plans.

The occurrence in February 2006 of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in the West and Central region of Africa ( Niger and Nigeria ) and the risk of rapid spread to other countries led the three institutions to draw up a formal agreement that establishes an operational regional technical centre for African countries.

The new Centre will rely on the multi-actors, multi-donors pan-African platform Alive (African Livestock) of which the World Bank manages the Secretariat.

The system set up in Bamako will serve as a model for the creation of other future Regional Centres for Animal Diseases in Africa and other regions of the world.