Europe celebrates its partnership with Africa in livestock development

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Today saw an AU Commissioner, European and African Ambassadors come together at the African Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) to mark the benefits of more than 50 years of partnership to develop farming and livestock development on the continent.

Part of Europe Week, celebrations were marked at an event led by the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, the Permanent Secretary for Livestock, Khadija Kasachoon and attended by several Ambassadors and High Commissioners from African Union and European Union countries.

On display at the event were demonstrations of the impact that support from the European Union has had on livestock, fisheries and the natural resources in Africa. There was a stall showing the work of the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture and another from Somalia.

The European Union has been the main supporter of AU-IBAR over its 50 year history.
Over the past four years, the European Union has contributed Kshs 15 billion, eradicating rinderpest and providing benefits to 350 million households in Africa who rely on animals and livestock for their livelihoods.

European Union support has created a surveillance system in Africa which gives early warning of problems that could impact livestock, such as the spread of Avian flu.

Support has been given to science and research establishments to improve animal health and assistance has been given to African countries who are participating in World Trade Organisation negotiations.
The European Union Ambassador, Lodewijk Briet, said: “Research and clear headed thinking on how to address today’s challenges to improve food and farming production is vital. I am happy that the European Union’s long partnership with the African Union is helping to improve veterinary services, fishing and livestock practices and resources – all of which is having a real impact on millions of lives across the continent. “It is part of a wider development strategy to develop agriculture and increase food productions that sees us supporting research and development to develop drought resistant species, spread best practice in conservation agriculture, improving efficiencies in farming, supporting critical sectors like coffee and sugar and helping to prepare communities for the hardships caused by climate change.” During his speech at the event Ambassador Briet noted the links between conflict and food security and the need to take a regional and sometimes continental approach to tackling the fundamental challenges facing African agriculture today.

Over the last four years, the partnership between the EU and AU-IBAR has delivered across Africa:

  • Improvements in veterinary services

  • Support to the fishing industry through better environmental protection, improved licensing for fishing, enhancing trade and export standards policies

  • Better management of high-quality breeds of livestock which increases productivity

  • Improvements to international standards for the export of livestock and better consumer safety in Africa.

  • Preservation of the pastures and environment on which livestock depend, tackling issues of land degradation and resource-based conflict.

For more information please contact: Matt Freear
Phone: +254 703 116992
Twitter: @EUinKenya