OPENING SPEECH OF THE DIRECTOR OF AU-IBAR DURING THE EXPERTS MEETINGS FOR VEES, VSBS, WOMENS’ NETWORK & TRAINING FOR YOUTH NETWORK MEMBERS. 23 – 24 JULY 2018, CAIRO, EGYPT.

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Representatives of the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt

Deans of Veterinary Education Establishments

Heads and Representatives of Veterinary Statutory Bodies

The Chief Executive of the African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN), Dr. Alex Ariho Representatives of Continental, Regional and National Networks for Women

Members of the African Women in Animal Resources Farming and Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N)

Youth engaged in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture value chains Colleagues from AU-IBAR

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Morning

On behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E Moussa  Mahamat Faki and the Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture, H.E. Sacko Josefa Leonel Correa and on my own behalf,   I welcome you to participate in the expert meetings  and trainings namely:

  1. Experts’ Meeting for the African Association of Veterinary Education Establishments (2A2E-V)
  2. Experts’ Meeting for the Association of African  Veterinary  Statutory  Bodies (2AVSB)
  3. Experts’ Meeting for the African Women in Animal Resources Farming and Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N) and
  4. Business incubation management training for members of the African Youth in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Incubators Network (AYL-FAIN).

I am really grateful to all of you for your commitments since we started this journey in July 2017 in Dakar Senegal and also for making time to attend these events.

Before I proceed, I would like to extend our appreciation to the Government and People of the Arab Republic of Egypt through the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and the Ministry in charge of Higher Education and Research for hosting the meetings. I extend my gratitude to the Members of the Local Organizing Committee and AUIBAR staff who have worked tirelessly and continue to provide the ground support to make these events a reality. We are truly grateful.

Ladies and gentlemen, the meetings we will be having for the following two days are all in preparation for the PanAfrican Conference on veterinary education establishments, veterinary statutory bodies and networks of women & youth in agri-business.

I am aware that you have worked tirelessly since the technical meeting you had in February in Dakar to produce draft documents which you are going to review and finalize for the Conference.

I am also aware that during the two days, the Youth will receive training on Agribusiness incubation for the transformation of the animal resources sector across the continent. I am really proud and grateful to all of you for your engagement in the acceleration the transformation of Animal resources sector as envisioned in the Malabo declaration.

Since its establishment, the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), has led the continent to coordinate the development and utilization of animal resources for human wellbeing and economic development in the Member States of the African Union.  Over this period, significant achievements have been made.

However, as the population of Africa continues to increase, more demand is being placed on the animal resources sector:

  • To provide safe and quality Animal Source Foods to meet the food and nutrition security needs of the continent,
  • To provide jobs especially for women and youth in Africa.
  • To effectively meet these demands among others, we need to embark on a transformative agenda for the sector.

Distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to briefly mention some of AU-IBAR’s perspectives on possible approaches to this transformative agenda:

  • Firstly, we need to improve our veterinary education to produce the skilled and professional workforce capable of responding to the needs of the industry and the rapidly evolving global, continental and regional contexts.
  • Secondly, well-regulated animal health systems across the continent will be critical to efficient animal production and the facilitation of intra-regional trade especially within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
  • We also need to better integrate women and youth into the Animal Resource Sector by creating a conducive institutional and policy environment for equitable investment and governance.
  • Lastly, we must make ICT an indispensable component of the animal resource sector.

Invited Guests, at AU-IBAR, we are of the opinion that these approaches are functionally interrelated components of a global approach for transforming the sector. And this explains our intention for convening and connecting the VEEs, VSBs, Women and Youth at this time. In this regard, I strongly urge you all to look at the global picture as you discuss issues and formulate programmes for your individual Associations and Networks.

I am happy to know that the two Associations and two Networks have made significant progress since our first meeting in Dakar in July 2017. I encourage you to use these two-days to finalize your working procedures and programmes towards the official launching.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as I conclude my remarks, I would like to thank all our Partners, the African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN), the VEES, the VSBs, and the Women networks for the exemplary role they are playing to support AU-IBAR to enhance skills and competencies on agribusiness incubation management among the youth.

With these few remarks I declare the meetings and training officially opened and wish you all fruitful deliberations.

I thank you all.

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