Through the IGAD LPI, IGAD is facilitating the agreement of a Regional Policy Framework on Animal Health, through which the region will address its twin objectives of improved trade and poverty reduction. See April 2008’s news item.
National positions are currently being prepared, which will then be harmonised and finally agreed by the region’s agriculture ministers. IGAD LPI has prepared a brochure which explains the process fully. [Regional policy framework on animal health and trade - the process].
To support IGAD’s member states as they prepare their national positions, IGAD LPI has conducted national and regional consultations, supported by analyses of the trade and animal health challenges facing the region. It has now taken the conclusions coming out of this work to the member states themselves, to make them available to stakeholders and as a first step towards regional harmonisation.
A team drawn from the IGAD secretariat, the project and experts in animal health and international trade law visited senior government officials, project partners and members of the projects’ policy hubs in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. Across the board, the meetings revealed a consistent and explicit demand for the development of harmonised animal health and trade policies in the region. Indeed, the regional dimensions of the issues under discussion were seen by many as sufficiently pressing for them to call for the establishment of a unit within the IGAD secretariat to coordinate these issues in the long term. A growing momentum towards regional economic integration is now adding weight to that need.
The issues on the table were wide ranging, including disease prioritisation, service supply in marginal areas (including community based animal health), the roles of the public and private sectors in service supply, the means of conforming to, and influencing the rules of the game that govern international trade and the harmonisation of regional trade rules.