19th Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Africa
18 February 2011 – The 19th Conference of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Regional Commission for Africa was held in Kigali (Rwanda) from 14 to 18 February 2011. The Conference was chaired by Mrs Agnes Matilda Kalibata, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr Théogène Rutagwenda, Delegate of Rwanda to the OIE and Dr Berhe Gebreegziabher, President of the OIE Regional Commission for Africa.
Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE, senior Ministry officials, the Delegates of the 40 Member Countries of the OIE Regional Commission for Africa, representatives of international and regional organisations and numerous observers also participated in the Conference.
“Investments in animal health must be seen as a priority in view of their impact in reducing poverty, giving animal products better access to regional and international markets and safeguarding public health, for the benefit of the people of Africa and the international community at large”, declared Dr Vallat during the Conference.
Two technical items of major importance were presented at the Conference:
– Livestock census in Africa as a vital tool for livestock disease surveillance and control
– Main pathologies of camels, breeding of camels, constraints, benefits and perspectives
Discussions also dealt with the animal health situation throughout the region and the major investments that are still needed if Africa is to continue to progress with the control of animal diseases.
Participants were given an overview of activities under the GF-TADs (Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Diseases) worldwide programme developed jointly by the OIE and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and an overview of collaboration between the OIE and the African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR).
Several applications were also examined. The request for validation of the candidature of the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science of Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa) as an OIE Collaborating Centre was adopted. The application will be submitted to the relevant OIE Specialist Commission for analysis and recommendations.
The Conference was preceded by a Seminar for African Delegates to the OIE on good governance of the Veterinary Services and compliance with OIE quality standards.
A consensus was reached on the need to vigorously pursue the modernisation of Veterinary Services in Africa with the constant support of the OIE.
The Conference was outstandingly hosted by the Government of Rwanda to general acclaim and was organised with the support of staff from the OIE Headquarters and the OIE Regional and Sub-Regional Representations for Africa.