The pig sector is one of the key pillars of livelihood, and socio-economic developments in rural Africa and is strategically important to the continent’s food and nutritional security. However, the sector faces complex challenges such as the African Swine Fever (ASF). ASF is a deadly disease for pigs that can spread across borders.
Recognizing the challenges and the opportunities that exist, the African Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Livestock Research Institute have been collaborating since March 2013 to develop an Africa-wide strategy for the prevention and control of African swine fever. To this effect, a Taskforce drawn from the three organizations, and from the GF-TADs Standing Group of Experts (SGE) on ASF was set up and has worked extensively on the strategy. The first draft of the Regional Strategy for the Control of African Swine fever in Africa was released in 2017 under the auspices of AU IBAR.
The strategy’s goal is to improve food security, reduce poverty, create wealth, and boost Africa's economy. The first strategy was drafted in 2017, and has now been updated to align with the FAO-WOAH ASF global initiative. To ensure this strategy's effectiveness, experts have reviewed and improved it. AU-IBAR has been recommended as the custodian of this strategy due to its role in coordinating livestock, fisheries, and wildlife resource utilization in Africa. ASF is a transboundary disease with significant regional and global impacts, making coordinated efforts and strategic guidance essential.
At the sidelines of the Africa Climate Summit, the FAO Assistant Director General & Regional Representative for Africa Dr. Abebe HaileGabriel handed over the strategy to AU-IBAR Director Dr. Huyam Salih.
This collaboration and strategy show a proactive approach to managing livestock in Africa. If this strategy is implemented correctly, it will help protect pig farmers' investments, improve pig and pork trade in Africa and beyond, and enhance the livelihoods, food security, and nutrition of everyone involved.
It's also important to monitor each partner's contributions to ensure success and avoid duplication of efforts. AU-IBAR has a history of leading positive changes in the livestock sector, like eradicating Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and addressing the challenges and opportunities in Africa's livestock resources.
The collaboration between organizations and the commitment to addressing ASF demonstrates a proactive approach to livestock management in Africa. To ensure success, it's important to establish a monitoring mechanism to track the progress of each partner's contributions and avoid duplicating efforts. This strategy represents a significant step forward in the livestock sector, building on past successes like the eradication of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and addressing the challenges and opportunities in Africa's livestock resources development.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR).