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OIE strengthens its representations in Africa with an Agreement on the opening of a new Office in Botswana in relation with SADC

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the government of the Republic of Botswana signed an agreement during the organisation's General Session in Paris that accredits a new OIE sub-regional office for South African Development Community (SADC) countries in Gaborone ( Botswana ).

“This agreement marks the beginning of a new era in the reinforcement of veterinary services in the SADC region,” said OIE Director General, Bernard Vallat at the signing. Dr M. C. Chimbombi, Deputy Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture represented the government of Botswana .

The new sub-regional office will be in charge of improving the quality of national veterinary services and information on animal diseases. It will look into harmonizing methods used to control diseases in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat and the public-private animal health delivery services established in the region.

On the capacity building front, it will be responsible for training responsible national high officers in charge of animal health, notably by financing and organizing courses or seminars deemed necessary by the SADC Member States. In particular, it will focus on the evaluation and auditing of veterinary services and support to OIE reference veterinary laboratories.

In line with OIE's impetus in developing regional representations, the Botswana Office is the first to come in support of the African Regional Representation of Bamako, Mali. Other OIE sub-regional representations will be established in Africa .

The sub-regional representation will conduct its activities within the framework of an earlier OIE-SADC Agreement supported by a grant contribution from the European Union. Other donors such as USDA are expected to bring their support in the near future.

Dr Bonaventure Mtei, former Senior Programme Manager for Livestock for the SADC Secretariat, will head the new office. Both OIE and SADC trust he will live up to their expectations and successfully lead his team throughout its mission.

The 14 countries falling under this OIE Sub-Regional Representation in Botswana are all OIE and SADC Member Countries: Angola , Botswana , DRC, Lesotho , Madagascar , Malawi , Mauritius , Mozambique , Namibia , South Africa , Swaziland , United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe .

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