Towards Creating Sustainable Livestock Value Chain in Africa
PENHA delegates including Sadia Ahmed, Somaliland Director and Bereket Tsegay, Interim Director had participated in the ‘Prioritization of Regional Livestock Value Chains in Africa’ consultative Workshop organised by the African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in collaboration with the European Union held at Golden Tulip, Nairobi, Kenya from February 19th to 21st 2019. The three-day workshop was aimed at prioritising the regional sustainable livestock value chain (LVCs) in Africa by identifying strategic action that increases resilience and transforms the livestock sector. The workshop was designed to contribute towards the overarching goals of the AU Agenda 2063, Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and Livestock Development Strategy for Africa (LiDeSa).
The consultative workshop had two core objectives of catalysing the commercialisation and transformation of the livestock sector in Africa, through the five years ‘Sustainable Development of Livestock for Livelihoods in Africa – Live2Africa’ project.
- Build consensus on five priority regional livestock value chains that will be the focus of key strategic action necessary to drive the desired transformative growth in Africa’s livestock sector.
- Undertake SWOT analysis of the prioritised LVCs and identification of the potential catalytic actions including a) formulate guiding principles for prioritisation of LVCs and b) Establish potential actions for transformation
As the Consultative Workshop Concept Note shows the livestock sector in Africa is ‘an untapped business opportunity for food security, income growth, employment, stability, environmental health and resilience building’. Therefore, calling a continental gathering was timely in creating regional synergy and integration in promoting the livelihoods of millions pastoral and agro-pastoral communities as well as the end users of the livestock produce.
In the first day, the opening speech and remarks were made by the representatives of EU and AU-IBAR along an explanation of the ‘Overarching policy frameworks and the Live2Africa’. Following these, the presentations of the Regional Economic Communities (REC) on livestock value chain were made including the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC), etc. The eight presentations gave an overview of the situation related to the relevance of the livestock sector to national and regional economies as well as the significance of the value chain within their regional context.
The second day was devoted to the Value Chain actors where representatives from civil societies, the private sector and others made their cases and highlighted the gaps that need further intervention. During this session, PENHA Somaliland Director Sadia Ahmed made a presentation under the title of ‘Women in Pastoralist Communities – Challenges and Opportunities’ where livestock is the mainstay of the Somaliland economy. Her presentation captured the key challenges and opportunities women face within the pastoral economic system in Somaliland and the evolving nature of the social change and economic diversification.
During the second and third day, the sessions were focused on the prioritisation of livestock value chains at a regional level as well as the usage of the SWOT analysis in identifying the key areas of the value chain and the strategic actors involved. Prof. Cheikh Ly had made a presentation on ‘Framework and guiding principles for prioritization of LVCs’ which helped the participates to familiarise with the approach and process of prioritising the livestock value chains. Similarly, Prof. Henry Bwisa explained to the participants how they can use the SWOT analysis in the process of the value chain and highlight the strategic area that needs further intervention to the policy makers.
Most of the remaining time was allocated to the group discussions which were very interactive and engaging. Each regionally based group was able to set its own priorities on the strategic areas that need further investment for a transformative process of the livestock value chain for ensuring economic scale, creating employment and livelihood impact. Each group representative made the outcome of his/her group and had time for discussion. In general, the group discussions were very effective in highlighting each regional economic block’s key areas of the livestock value chain however the Eastern Africa participants highlighted a special focus should be made to the sub-regional economic blocks, particularly, between the East African Community (EAC) and the IGAD countries as their livestock resources and ecological context differs. See figure below for the priority areas of each region identified by the participants.
At the end of the third day, Dr. Sarah Ossiya read a Communique to the participants where they commented on the areas that need further clarification. Dr. Ossiya ensured the continuity of the value chain work through the forthcoming regional level gatherings. That is, the participants of the continental workshop are expected to continue advancing what they have achieved out of the Nairobi discussions.
The workshop brought about 90 experts with extensive experience on the livestock sector from the AU member state, civil society and private sector, regional and international organisations. The consultative workshop was also benefited from a number of facilitators, moderators and organisers including Dr. Sarah Ashanut Ossiya, Prof. Cheikh Ly, Dr. Alfred Muthee, Prof. James Wabacha, Dr. Baboucarr Jaw, Prof. Henry Bwisa, Beatrice Adhiambo and the AU-IBAR workshop organising team. Finally, the participants appreciated the AU-IBAR and the EU for organising this very important and timely workshop which is expected to promote the sustainable livestock value chain across Africa.