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AU-IBAR mission commits to strengthen Gambia’s veterinary sector

Oct 23, 2019, 12:31 PM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

(Friday 18 October 2019 Issue)

Director and head of mission of the African Union- Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resourced (AU-BAR) to The Gambia has expressed his institution’s commitment to closely work with partners to strengthen veterinary legislation in The Gambia.

Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy was speaking at the end of a recent two-week seminar on collective review of Veterinary Legislation organized and supported by AU-IBAR for AU member states.

During the seminar, Professor El-Sawalhy said the GAP analysis and evaluation of the veterinary legislation undertaken since 2006 by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), highlights serious gaps in the national veterinary services, and veterinary legislations and the need for strengthening at country and REC levels.

He further stated that AU-IBAR has initiated the process of harmonization of priority domains of veterinary legislation in the various regions through the Regional Economic Communities.

“The RECs have identified priority domains and the training and the collective review of the legislations you have undertaken this week will go a long way in taking the process of harmonisation forward. I therefore request you as you take the process forward to also ensure inclusion of regional perspectives in the draft legislations”.

 He also told participants that harmonization of legislation would lead to cost effectiveness of our interventions at the regional level and lead to our desired outcomes.

According to him, the workshop has provided participants with an opportunity to enhance their capacity to support the national processes for reviewing/updating of veterinary legislation. 

He said bringing together health experts and legal drafting experts has allowed production of high quality layman’s drafts and drafting instructions, saying the continued consultation between animal health and legal experts will speed up the process at national level, thereby assuring economy, effectiveness and efficiency. “I am pleased to note that the training has fully achieved the objectives and produced the expected deliverables that include: Layman’s draft and accompanying notes; drafting instructions; country presentations on the outputs; self- evaluation questionnaires.”

Professor El-Sawalhy assured that his institution is committed to working with participants as they take the process forward.  “AU-IBAR will provide support for national coordination and the stakeholder engagement leading to National validation of the draft legislations. Further support will be provided to support advocacy for enactment and further capacity building”.

The forum was hosted by the Department of Livestock Services under the Ministry of Agriculture and was held at Senegambia Beach hotel. 23 countries, representing over 70 participants in the continents, attended the seminar.