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World Organisation
for Animal Health
Editorial Director: Dr A.B.Niang

 

 


2007 Annual report of the OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Southern Africa.

Gaborone - Botswana

2007

INTRODUCTION

The OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Southern Africa has been established in 2005 in Gaborone (Botswana) to cover all 14 member countries of, as well as to liaise with the regional economic community, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which also has its headquarters in Gaborone. The list of member countries is presented as a foot-note below and as a map on the next page.

The office became operational on January 1 st, 2006 when the Sub-Regional Representative was appointed. In the course of 2007, a Deputy-Representative was appointed (but later resigned) and a programme officer seconded to the OIE by the French Cooperation.

The office operates on funds made available by the European Development Fund through a Grant Contribution Agreement with the SADC Secretariat (€ 750,000 for 5 years). Since 2007, additionnal funds have been made available through the World Animal Health and Welfare Fund of the OIE.

Despite progress in the implementation of the 5 year action plan (2005 – 2009) as approved by the Director General in February 2005, there are still important delays in the implementation of some of the activities, in particular the capacity building component.

Several initiatives have been taken in the second semester of 2007 to address identified problems and constraints, in order to ensure a smooth and accelarated programme implementation as from 2008.


DISEASE SITUATION REPORT
(latest reports)

Country

Disease

Species

Month

Notification to OIE

Botswana

Epizootic ulcerative syndr.

Fish

Sept.

Yes (resolved)

Botswana

Foot-and-Mouth Dis. SAT 2

Cattle

March

Yes (resolved)

Botswana

Foot-and-Mouth Dis. SAT 1

Cattle

October

Yes (resolved)

Botswana

Haemorrhagic Septicaemia

Fish

March

Yes (resolved)

Madagascar

African Swine Fever

Pigs

Sept.

No

Mauritius

African Swine Fever

Pigs

October

Yes

Mozambique

Lumpy Skin Disease

Cattle

February

Yes (ongoing)

Namibia

Anthrax

Cattle, donkey

Sept.

No

Namibia

Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Cattle

November

Yes

South Africa

African Horse Sickness

Equids

*

(Yes)

South Africa

Foot-and-Mouth Dis. SAT 3

Cattle

January

Yes (resolved)

South Africa

Highly Pat. Avian Influenza

Ostriches

January

Yes (resolved)

Swaziland

African Horse Sickness

Equids

July

Yes (resolved)

Tanzania

CBPP

Cattle

No (endemic)

Tanzania

Rift Valley Fever

Small Rum.

July

Yes (resolved)

Zambia

Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Cattle

October

No

Zambia

Anthrax

Cattle

November

No

Zambia

CBPP

Cattle

No (endemic)

(*) It will be recalled that in May 2006 South Africa reported African Horse Sickness (AHS) but according to a follow up report based on new lab findings it was deemed necessary to change the diagnosis. After a critical re-evaluation of the situation it was concluded that Encephalosis virus was the cause of the outbreak rather than the AHS virus as reported earlier to the OIE. Equine Encephalosis is endemic in South Africa and henceforth the disease will be reported through the routine six-monthly reports.


TECHNICAL PROGRESS REPORT

COUNTRY VISITS

Draft terms of reference, programme and reporting templates have been drafted by this office and sent to the OIE HQ for endorsement on the 25 th of June 2007. These terms of reference have been amended by OIE HQ in order to differentiate between countries already having been assessed through PVS evaluation missions and those not. The terms of reference have finally been adopted on September 12 th.

Given the absence of approved PVS reports in SADC member countries at this time, the shortlist of countries to visit includes Angola, (Botswana), Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (Tanzania and Mozambique have recently applied for a PVS mission).

Unfortunately, the first attempt to organise a mission to Angola has failed due to the non-responsiveness of the CVO to formally accept the mission and its terms of reference. The first mission therefore took place in Zambia from November 25 – 28 th, 2007. Four further country visits will be conducted by June 2008, end of the ongoing EDF work plan. By then, as PVS reports will have been rendered public, visits might be conducted in Madagascar, DRC, Malawi, Swaziland and Lesotho, focussing on the follow-up of the PVS reports’ observations and recommendations.

GOOD GOVERNANCE OF VETERINARY SERVICES

The Sub-Regional Representation is not formally involved in the ongoing round of PVS missions in the SADC member countries, but has repeatedly promoted the concept amongst representatives of national veterinary services and regional and international organisations alike. To this effect, a power point presentation has been designed, which deals with the PVS programme on the African continent. The last countries to have been scrutinised under the PVS programme are Swaziland and DRC. Tanzania and Mozambique have recently applied for a PVS evaluation.

CAPACITY BUILDING

The capacity building of veterinary services staff is one of the core activities, funded under the EU – SADC grant contribution agreement. Capacity building focuses on laboratory personnel, senior veterinary officers, and other animal health scientists.

In short, the capacity building programme should attain the following outputs by December 2009 :

  • One hundred and twenty (120) experts trained through specialised workshops.
  • Two (2) training sessions, each for 12 trainees in favour of Veterinary Laboratories
  • Two (2) laboratories from the North twinned with the laboratories of the region.
  • Two (2) Reference Laboratories recognised by the OIE.
  • Seven (7) experts from SADC participating in OIE standard-setting activities
None of the activities towards attaining these objectives has materialised to date. It is only in October 2007 that agreement was reached with the Central Bureau on which topics should be withheld for training and capacity building purposes.

As a first output, a training session for mid level laboratory personnel will be conducted before the end of the year (subject to approval by OIE HQ). It will be directed towards 12 English-speaking participants (2 staff from 6 national veterinary labs : DRC, Angola, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia) and will enhance capacity on the diagnosis of Rift valley fever (serology). The training will be conducted by and at the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Temeke (Dar es Salaam), Tanzania from December 17 – 22, 2007.

NOTIFICATION

The Sub-Regional Representation actively insists on the notification requirements of member countries and will contact OIE delegates when rumours of important new outbreaks or epidemiological events are not followed by official notifications to OIE in a reasonable lapse of time (e.g. ASF outbreaks in Madagascar and Mauritius lately). The issue of notification is also part of any country visit conducted (or to be conducted). The following screen-shot combines the reporting status of SADC member countries for 2006 and 2007 (so far).

WAHID © Reporting summary on November 30th, 2007

I t appears from this table that countries not or less complying with (standard) reporting requirements are Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania (6-monthly reporting), but also DRC, Mauritius, Mozambique, and Madagascar. Following the country-visit to Zambia (just completed), it would appear that the vet. services has now resumed its reporting to OIE (halted following a breakdown of the animal health database in 2005).

Another important issue is related to the development by the PRINT project, under the auspices of the SADC Secretariat, of the Livestock Information Management System (LIMS), an information management system aimed at national reporting by member countries to SADC of data on livestock trade and marketing, animal production and animal health. The harmonisation of the latter component with the WAHIS reporting framework is of great concern to this office.

TWINNING AND REFERENCE LABORATORIES

These activities serve a dual –not mutually exclusive – purpose : (a) to enhance diagnostic capacity for particular diseases through twinning agreements with OIE reference laboratories and (b) to increase the number of OIE reference laboratories in the sub-region, through twinning agreements or not. This programme has not been implemented yet; the basic ground work of identification possible candidates is only just starting. This doesn’t mean nothing is happening, as the twinning concept is not the prerogative of the OIE only. Several national veterinary laboratories have already entered some kind of twinning agreement with CIRAD (CBPP), through the SADC - PRINT support programme, while South Africa’s OVI has submitted a request for recognition of OIE reference laboratory for HPAI.

The OIE SRR has recently circulated a baseline questionnaire to start identifying possible interests on behalf of SADC member countries. The analysis of the results of this questionnaire is ongoing.

PARTICIPATION OF AFRICAN EXPERTS IN STANDARD SETTING ACTIVITIES OF THE OIE

The activities foreseen by OIE and specified in the EU – SADC grant contribution agreement, seek to increase the number of African experts in the various standard setting bodies of the OIE (commissions, working groups and ad hoc groups) but also to increase the involvement of African veterinary services and especially the OIE delegates and subject matter focal points in the various phases of the standard setting processes, such as the comments provided to the Technical and Scientific Commission and the debates during the General Session. This programme has not been implemented yet, except for the design of a small MS Access based database that should help the office identify possible experts. The Sub-Regional Representation is already involved in the future set-up of the ad-hoc group on animal welfare, but more efforts are required.


MEETINGS & CONFERENCES

Through its narrow relationship with the SADC Secretariat, this OIE office is closely involved in all activities and regional initiatives of the SADC Secretariat, and the FANR Directorate in particular (Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources). It actively participates in various coordination platforms initiated by SADC, the EC and other partner organisations (FAO, PRINT, SFMDP), while taking every advantage of regional conferences and seminars organised by these bodies to promote OIE and its mandates (in line with the topics discussed at these venues). The following table provides a summary overview of the main conferences, seminars, workshops and meetings attended (or expected to be attended) in 2007.

Date(s)

Theme(s) and venue

Country

February 5 - 7

Meeting of the Central Bureau with RR and SRR staff

France

April 16 – 18

Annual SADC Livestock Technical Committee Meeting (Maseru)

Lesotho

April 25 – 28

Meeting of the OIE Reg. Commision for Africa (Asmara)

Eritrea

May 20 – 25

75 th general Session of the OIE (Paris)

France

May 26

9 th Executive Committee of the ALive platform (World Bank office, Paris)

France

June 14

1st livestock coordination meeting : European Delegation in Botswana, SADC Secretariat and other stakeholders including PRINT, SFMDP, RAO support unit, French Embassy and the FAO (Gaborone)

Botswana

June 20 – 21

OIE/FAO FMD Reference Laboratories Network meeting (Mokolodi)

Botswana

July 11 – 13

4 th Pan African meeting of the Directors of National Veterinary vaccine laboratories (Pretoria)

S. Africa

August 13 - 14

Workshop on risk management of TADs in the evolving socio-economic order of the SADC region, organized by the FAO (Arusha).

Tanzania

August 7

2 nd livestock coordination meeting (Gaborone)

Botswana

September 24 – 28

Regional workshop on CBPP organized by the SADC PRINT – Livestock project and a meeting of the SADC AHI Joint Technical Committee (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania

October 2

Meeting of the Sub-Regional Representation with the OIE Central Bureau (Paris)

France

October 15 – 17

Mission of the OIE Deputy DG and Head of RAD to Botswana (Gaborone)

Botswana

October 18 – 19

Roundtable of SADC FANR with the ICP (Phakalane)

Botswana

November 22 – 23

Meeting of OIE PVS assessors at the ENSV (Lyon)

France

December 11 - 13

Regional WTO workshop on SPS agreements for eastern and southern African countries, co-organised by the OIE (Lusaka)

Zambia

December 12 – 14

Annual meeting of the OIE Central Bureau with OIE Regional and Sub-Regional Representations (Paris)

France

December 17 - 21

Training of laboratory personnel on diagnosis of Rift Valley fever at CVL (Temeké)

Tanzania


ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

The Sub-Regional Representation is currently renting office space within the Zimbabwe Embassy in Gaborone. It has recently been decided by the OIE’s Central Bureau that (with the lease agreement ending on January 31 st, 2008) the office should seek to rent ‘commercial’ (and therefore ‘neutral’) office space as from January 1 st, 2008 awaiting a firm commitment from the Botswana Government to host the OIE office in the future. To this effect, the Director General of the OIE has officially requested the Government to provide the OIE office with sufficient office space to house not only the OIE, but also the future partners in the Regional Animal Health Center for Southern Africa : FAO (already) and AU-IBAR (possibly, in the future).

The office, with the help of the EU (Grant Contribution Agreement) and –increasingly- the World Animal Health and Welfare Fund, is improving its working environment, as more staff is and will be joining the office (including FAO staff) and requirements for IT, office transport, and telecommunications equipment and consumables increase.

In technical terms, the activities of this office are still very dictated by the requirements of the SADC – EU Grant Contribution Agreement. The delays accumulated since 2005 in the implementation of the first and the second work plan have led to financial problems (briefly discussed in the next section) and administrative problems. The joint efforts of this office and OIE management in Paris have led to proposals to readjust the implementation framework of this Agreement, in order to meet the December 31 st, 2009 deadline (end of the Agreement) with most if not all objectives attained.

To achieve this (a) an amendment to the implementation calendar has been submitted, followed by (b) a revised work plan for the ongoing work plan n° 2 and (c) a request for a non-cost budgetary reshuffle, reducing the number of 5 annual work plans to three 18-months work plans. All these requests have been accepted by the SADC – Secretariat and the EDF (ECD in Gaborone). These alterations should enable to kick start the activities of this office as from 2008, without risk of budgetary insufficiencies.

STAFF

Position

Name

Starting date

Representative

Bonaventure J. Mtei

01.01.2006

Deputy Representative

M. Emily Mogajane

01.05.2007

[vacant]

01.07.2007

Programme Officer

Patrick X. Bastiaensen

22.04.2007

Secretary

Nomsa Thekiso

01.02.2006

The following tables present the current administrative set-up of the Sub-Regional Representation, and the official delegations we had the pleasure to welcome during 2007.


AGREEMENTS & HOSTING

Agreement

Signatories

Starting date

MoU SADC Secretariat

OIE & SADC

2003

Grant Contribution Agreement

OIE, SADC & EC

2005

Hosting Agreement

OIE & Gov. of Botswana

2006

MoU RAHC Southern Africa

OIE & FAO

Draft


OFFICIAL VISITS

Designation

Organisation / Country

Month

Chief Animal Health Officer

FAO AGAH & TCEO

June

Official delegation French Cooperation and AFD

France

June

Official delegation veterinary services

Zimbabwe

September

Delegation from UK (HQ) and Dar es Salaam (Africa) offices

WSPA

October

Deputy Director General and Head of RAD

OIE

October

Official delegation veterinary services

Kenya

November

 

REGIONAL ANIMAL HEALTH CENTER

The purpose of the Regional Animal Health Centre for Southern Africa is to provide a coordination mechanism between the FAO, and the OIE to harmonise and strengthen policies and strategies for TADs prevention and control (with particular emphasis on HPAI). The combined expertise of the partner organisations will be made available to SADC Member States and the SADC Secretariat.

The RAHC de facto already exists since July 1 st, 2007 when Dr. Münstermann started working as ECTAD regional manager within the OIE walls.

The concept of this RAHC as a service-provider to SADC, not of the SADC secretariat, seems to have made head way and is now accepted by senior SADC officials, including the Director of the FANR. The signing of a two-way agreement between OIE and FAO for the set-up of the Southern African ‘branch’ of the RAHC network, will therefore not meet opposition from the SADC secretariat. What remains to be defined though is who will sign the agreement on behalf of FAO and OIE, and SADC (in witness). Finally, the SADC secretariat’s political say in this construction (possibly through a RAHC steering committee) would also require clarification.

As soon as this Agreement is signed, a programme of activities will be drawn up defining actions to be undertaken and missions to be carried out including outsourcing of services required. Monitoring and evaluation of the Centre’s activities will be done by a SADC GF-TADs Steering Committee to be established in which the parent institutions of the Agreement will be represented.

Position

Name

Starting date

ECTAD Regional Manager

Susanne Münstermann

01.07.2007

RIACSO Emergency Officer *

Fred Musisi

01.08.2007

Admin. and Financial Assistant

Grace Ssemakula

20.11.2007

(*) Part-time between Johannesburg and Gaborone

 

FINANCIAL REPORT

The funding of the Sub-Regional Representation is at present sourced from :

the EDF funding provided by the SADC-Secretariat to OIE (Paris)

  • the additional OIE funding provided through the World Animal Health and Welfare Fund
  • the funding provided by the French Cooperation through the secondment of a programme officer and a EUR 10,000 p.a. operational budget (extra-budgetary to OIE).

For the year 2007, the budget stood at EUR 235,200, of which EUR 172,200 from the EDF and EUR 63,000 from the WAHWF. Given the reshuffle of implementation timeframes and budgets approved by the EDF, and given the structural overspending on some of the EDF budget-lines (which OIE management has now agreed to assume through the WAHWF), the budget will likely be raised by EUR 20,000.

Even though several budget lines with regard to operational expenses (office running costs, vehicle running costs and travel) were overstretched, it is doubtful that the overall budget will be spent by December 31 st, 2007 for the following reasons :

  • the budget foreseen for the Deputy Representative (EUR 63,000) was only minimally disbursed to cover the salaries of the months of May and June 2007.
  • of the 4 training courses or workshops to be conducted, only one will be conducted by the end of the year (estimated cost EUR 44,000).

According to the latest feed back from the OIE Finance Department (managing both the EDF and the WAHWF funds) the balance of expenses now stands at EUR 124,214 (on October 29 th, 2007) which represents 53% of the budget approved by the OIE Administrative Commission in May 2007. Taking into account the remaining expenses for salaries and one training session by the end of December, it is likely that the final level of expenditure will stand at approximately EUR 180,000 or 77% of the 2007 budget (excluding the expenditures incurred by the French Cooperation).

 

CONCLUSIONS AND 2008 OUTLOOK

The 5 year programme this office has embarked on with the help of the SADC Secretariat and the European Union comes to an end in December 2009. This means that by 2009, the office will have to be consolidated and will have to ensure basic operation using OIE funds only. By that time the Regional Animal Health Center too, will have to reach full maturity.

The year 2007 has been a turning point in this representation’s development with a progressive increase of activities (and staff) and important financial and managerial decisions being taken by OIE management and the two other main stakeholders (SADC and EU) with should ensure a smooth ride from 2008 onwards.

However, for this office to gain full credibility with member countries, a continued and progressive delegation of powers from the OIE Central Bureau (and the Regional Representation) towards the Sub-Regional Representation will have to be encouraged.

In excess of what the SADC – EU Grant Contribution Agreement provides today, additional investments will have to be supported by OIE (either directly or through the WAHWF). There is need for additional resources as soon as January 2008 to ensure such investments as the acquisitions of a server for back-up, print-spooling and electronic archiving purposes, additional heavy duty colour printers and networking/presentation equipment (routers, antennas, projector, tablet PC,…), the acquisition of a heavy duty photocopy machine and other office equipment (laminators, binders, furniture), as well as a second (liaison) vehicle for long-distance regional travel, additional support staff and increased communication budget (postage and tele-communications) and the lease of office space.

The regular funding of this office is one of the cornerstones of its future sustainability and consolidation. The fact that the SRR is now entirely funded through allocations from a donor-agency is not sound. The OIE Central Bureau should endeavour to ensure at least the basic operation of its representation (rent, utilities, transport, salaries) and seek additional funding for its action plans, with well-delineated targets and timeframes.

The new funding mechanism approved by the OIE International Committee during the 74 th General Session in 2006 (referred to as “the 10% rule”) offers the possibility for such base-line funding. The increase in country contributions to the OIE, by opting for a higher contribution category is one of the mechanisms through which OIE can free additional funds too. Depending on opportunities that arise at sub-regional level, it should be possible for this SRR to attract funding for activities that directly benefit the SADC member countries of the OIE.