Yaounde, Cameroon

ECCAS regional seminar veterinary legislation (Yaounde)

In the framework of the VETGOV project on strengthening of veterinary governance in Africa, the OIE is entrusted with the implementation of activities to (i) strengthen the capacity of countries to assess their compliance with the standards of the OIE, (ii) to build the capacity of countries on veterinary legislation and (iii) to ensure interoperability between AU-IBAR’s Animal Resources Information System (ARIS) and WAHIS. In order to implement the second point, the OIE has developed, in collaboration with AU-IBAR, a one-week seminar on the promotion of the development of harmonised regional veterinary legislation. By the end of 2016, up to seven seminars will be conducted in the regional economic communities, recognized by the AU (ECCAS, IGAD, EAC, SADC, ECOWAS, COMESA and UMA/CENSAD).

The methodology applied here is innovative: firstly, the designated participants are veterinarians and lawyers involved in the development and implementation of regulations and secondly, formal presentations are minimised to make room for a series of workshops in which three groups, mixing veterinarians and lawyers, conduct exercises. The aim is that participants acquire the consecutive logical steps that will eventually lead to the development of an efficient and harmonised regulation in a regional context : defining objectives, developing and planning of the strategy to achieve the objectives, identifying actions to be taken (including legislation) and defining indicators allowing for the evaluation of the effectiveness of the actions.

The first seminar in this series was held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 27 to 31 October 2014 for the members of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) , comprising of Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe.

The seminar covered regulations on animal health. The team of experts from the OIE was led by Martial Petitclerc and included Christian Rondeau, former president of the French Veterinary Council, veterinary doctor and doctor in law, Xavier Roy, private veterinary surgeon in Guadeloupe, heavily involved in local policies on the prevention and control of animal diseases, as well as Sylvie Pupulin, OIE programme officer and veterinary officer of the French public administration. After a presentation of the objectives and methodology of the seminar, participants deconstructed a sample of national regulation (identifying the objectives, law enforcement challenges and the reasons why these challenges exist) and then worked on the development of a regional system (formulation of objectives, strategy development, choice of indicators, …) and finally worked on the implementation of the regional strategy (assessment of resources needed and planning of implementation).

Given the quality of involvement, the wealth of exchanges and very positive feedback from the participants, one may safely conclude that this seminar was a success. The next seminar will be held in Khartoum from November 23 to 27th and will cover the member countries of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in the Horn of Africa

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