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Participants during the COMESA Livestock Forum for the establishment of the Livestock Hub in Port Louis, Mauritius.

Experts in veterinary and animal issues have gathered in Port Louis Mauritius to establish the COMESA Livestock Policy Hub which will be a multidisciplinary group formed to ensure broad stakeholders participation in policy processes. The membership will comprise senior staff of state and non-state actors (government, civil society, community based and regional organisations and the private sector in the COMESA region.

The livestock policy hub will operate as a network of stakeholders interested in and committed to improving the institutional environment at regional level and provide effective and efficient animal health and production services.

This livestock policy will contribute towards the midterm strategic goal of COMESA and the VET-Gov progamme (Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa). Mauritius Minister of Agro-Industry His Excellency Mahen Kumar Seeruttun officially opened the meeting on 11th April 2017 and pledged his government’s support to the livestock hub.

Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya described the meeting as crucial as it will help improve investment and intra and inter regional livestock and livestock product trade thereby strengthening regional integration and better control of trans-boundary diseases.

There is more that still needs to be done in facilitating market access of livestock and livestock products among member States. We also need to develop and improve sanitary measures and compliance to international standards,” Mr Ngwenya said through his representative the Director of Industry and Agriculture Mr Thierry Mutombo.

COMESA has been partnering with the African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in implementing the VET-GOV programme since 2012. One of the important milestones achieved is the development of harmonized livestock policy framework.