IGAD in partnership with FAO, with financial support from Italian Development Cooperation has been implementing the regional project; Improving supply of safe and quality livestock and meat exported from the Horn of Africa to Middle East and North African (MENA) countries. The project has provisions for training of trade counselors stationed in embassies located in countries that import live animals and meat products from IGAD member states as well as alternative markets in Africa and Asia. The training organized by ICPALD/IGAD is to assist bridge the gap between trade counselors and traders or exporters and importers when it comes to real time market information collection and dissemination on import requirements as well as commodity prices and promotional efforts. Trainees came from IGAD member state embassies located in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iran and Nigeria. The training had two sessions back to back; for the new group from 13-16th March, 2018 and refresher trainees from 15-16th March, 2018 for those trained in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2016
A total of eighteen trade counselors were trained. It was opened officially by H.E Joyce Kabatzi, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Uganda who reiterated the importance of IGAD member states complying with Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures of importing countries for continuity of trade. On the other hand, to enhance trade, it is important to promote trade related information flow between trade counselors and exporters from the region. Dr. Patrick Kormawa, SRC, Rep. to AU & UNECA, FAO Sub-Regional Office, Eastern Africa and Dr. Solomon Munyua, ICPALD Director also made remarks. The training made the following key recommendations:
- Explore intra- African and other potential countries like Asia as supplementary to MENA countries to take care of market seasonality in MENA that usually is high for only 3 months in a year during Haji period and organize trade missions
- Participate and support line ministries for development of promotion materials and brands to suit the market demand of the host country
- Establish networks among trade missions of IGAD MS based in importing countries/regions for sharing lessons and experiences to leverage each other
- Have promotional posters and videos on live animals and meat products to showcase to people who visit the embassies or at cultural shows attended.
- Collect any changing regulatory landscape and emerging trade restrictions/requirements by closely liaising with importing country’s regulatory institutions and any fora and share with IGAD and MS
IGAD/ICPALD expresses appreciation to Italian Development Cooperation for financing this event through the IGAD /FAO implemented livestock and meat project.