It pains the OIE to announce the passing, on Thursday, 16 August 2012, of Dr Boubacar M. Seck, after a short illness. Dr Seck was known accross Africa and indeed, the world veterinary community, as a dedicated professional in the field of veterinary laboratory diagnosis. After having served his native Mali as Director of the Bamako Central Veterinary Laboratory and the African Union as Director-founder of the PANVAC Institute in Debre-Zeit , Ethiopia, he became involved as from 2006 in the continental fight against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), conducting numerous missions in the then affected countries of West Africa.
He eventually joined the Food and Agriculture Organisation ‘s (FAO) Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) and contributed to the erection of the first FAO – OIE – AU-IBAR Regional Animal Health Centre in Bamako. He remained in Bamako where he later became the FAO ECTAD Regional Manager for West and Central Africa, whilst eventually also assuming the responsibility of overall FAO Coordinator for Africa of the EPT/IDENTIFY programme (Congo river basin). Dr. Seck’s main accomplishment has been his leadership in developing the West and Central Africa Veterinary Laboratory Network RESOLAB, which studies highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and other transboundary animal diseases. Over the years he mentored a whole generation of young scientists who owe him a great deal.
In 2011, USDA – APHIS awarded him a certificate of appreciation for his work. Boubacar was above all a modest, decent and kind human being, always a friendly smile on his face, even when times were hard.
Our condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues. May he rest peacefully