Livestock-based solutions for sustainable development in Africa

In 2016, the United Nations issued a report highlighting the centrality of the livestock sector to the food sector and the promotion of sustainable development.

Driven by population and economic growth, particularly in Africa, demand for livestock products is expected to increase by about 70% in the coming 30 years.

No longer constrained by weak domestic demand on the continent, the sector in Africa today still faces many challenges which require long-term planning, coordination and investment.

The development and implementation of roadmaps for livestock sector in Africa have the capacity to drive sustained economic growth, inclusive social and human development, and an efficient use of natural resources.

Momentum to unleash the sector’s potential has been building for some time. The UN High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security report followed the African Union’s Livestock Development Strategy for Africa (2015–2035) published a year earlier and immediately supported by ministers on the continent.

Since then, the government of Ethiopia has begun implementing a ‘livestock master plan’ which highlights the scope for changes in the policy environment and targeted investments in animal health, breeding and feeding—of approximately USD 600 million over a five-year period—to significantly boost the incomes and livelihoods of nearly three million smallholder livestock-keeping households. Other governments are at different stages in employing similar science-based tools to identify livestock investment priorities to foster sustainable development.

Sharing—and learning from the implementation of—scientific tools and successful experiences of sustainable development is essential in informing future policy and investment in the livestock sector. This complex work requires the involvement and engagement of all the key stakeholders.

The importance of partnership means no one government or organization will be able to succeed alone. We will have to work together if we are to ensure no one is left behind. This is a key emphasis of the 7th multi-stakeholder partnership meeting of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock in Addis Ababa this week, 8–12 May.

The meeting offers participants an occasion to: reflect upon the initiatives that have been undertaken; highlight the lessons that may be applied to successful sustainable livestock development; clarify the tools that can be used to assess the sector’s multiple benefits; and identify those areas requiring further work.

On 11 May at 12pm in the Hilton Hotel, following a regional policy forum, as part of the process of promoting public debate and learning, the Global Agenda will convene a press conference to explore experiences in Africa of catalysing the sustainable development of the livestock sector and its contribution to national economic and social development in Africa. The speakers at the press conference—moderated by Brian Perry, Chair of the Strategic Advisory Board, Afrique One Aspire—will include:

  • Kgosietsile Phillemon-Motsu, Director, Department of Animal Production, Ministry of Agriculture, Botswana
  • Thomas Cherenet, Senior Policy and Research Advisor to the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Ethiopia
  • Samuel Chief Ankama, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Namibia
  • Wayne Gaskell, Director of Operations for Ethiopia, Frigorifico Boran Foods PLC, Ethiopia
  • Kumilachew Belay Bogale, General Manager, Kameria Trading PLC
  • Emma Naluyima, farmer representative, Uganda

 

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