Gaborone, Botswana

Dr Bonaventure Mtei retires from the OIE (Gaborone)

Dr Bonaventure Juma Mtei. Picture © M. Samson (demographix / oie) 2011

 

Dr Bonaventure Mtei, the first OIE Sub-Regional Representative for Southern Africa, took up his new post on the 1 January 2006 in Gaborone, Botswana. His responsibilities covered the 15 OIE Member Countries of the SADC and included liaison with the SADC Secretariat on matters of animal health, welfare and zoonoses.

 

Dr Mtei, a Tanzanian national, graduated as a veterinarian from Sofia, at the Bulgaria Higher Institute of Zootechnique and Veterinary Medicine in 1977. He began his veterinary career with the Government of Tanzania working in various districts and assuming numerous responsibilities. He obtained a degree certificate in Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics and M.Phil with the University of Reading in the UK after four years of study, from 1979 to 1983. On his return to Tanzania he worked as a senior veterinarian and national epidemiologist with an interest on the technologies of GIS. He ended up establishing the national epidemiology unit and strengthened linkages between Tanzania and the OIE.

From 1977 to 2000 Dr Mtei worked as PARC – Tanzania Project coordinator where he had the opportunity to contribute to the eradication of rinderpest. He is the founder member of the SADC Network on Epidemiology and Informatics which he is happy to see is still an important functional arm of SADC livestock structures.

Dr Bonaventure Juma Mtei. Picture © M. Samson (demographix / oie) 2011

 

From 2002 to 2005, Dr Mtei was recruited for the SADC Secretariat`s Directorate of Food Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) as Senior Programme Manager for livestock where he continued his linkages with the OIE, FAO, AU-IBAR, EU and WTO and brought with him the experience to establishing an OIE sub regional office to support SADC. He worked tirelessly with the Government of Botswana for the OIE to have a hosting agreement signed in 2006 and a collaboration agreement with SADC in 2003. Following the agreement signed between FAO and OIE in 2009 to establish the RAHC to coordinate the prevention and control of avian influenza and other trans-boundary animal diseases for southern Africa, Dr Mtei assumed the responsibility of Secretary-General of the RAHC.

To mark Dr Mtei`s retirement and departure, an event was held in Gaborone on the 17th November 2011 which afforded the Government of Botswana, members of the Diplomatic Corps, friends and family the opportunity to wish Mtei well on his retirement and departure from Botswana. All well wishers present enjoyed the sometimes amusing, sometimes saddened, but always very appreciative speeches with regard to the outgoing Representative. On his parting shot Dr Mtei said that he believed OIE had delivered on the demands of the Member Countries of the region and that better things are yet to come in the following years.

Bonaventure Mtei
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