Program DescriptionBackgroundOn January 1, 2021 the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Agreement) went into effect to create the largest free trade block in the world, consisting of 54 nations.
Implementation of Annex 7 on SPS of the AfCFTA highlights the pressing need to support RECs and
MS in strengthening legislation and regulations that are based on risk, science and international standards to facilitate the trade of agricultural products.
AU-DARBE led the development of an SPS Policy Framework and AU-IBAR led the development of a new Animal Health Strategy for Africa (AHSA), both of which were adopted by heads of state in February 202 0. These documents provide an implementation mechanism for the SPS Chapter of the AfCFTA and build a sustainable animal health system aligned with international standards to facilitate safe trade in animal products.The African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), within the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (AU-DARBE), supports and coordinates the improved utilization of animals (livestock, fisheries and wildlife) as a resource for human wellbeing in the AU Member States (MS) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to which they belong.
AU-IBAR represents continental Africa at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).The implementation of AHSA will lead to improved capacity to anticipate and mitigate the negative impacts of animal diseases, zoonosis, climate change, and disasters for healthy and productive animal populations and increased access to regional and international markets forAfrican animals and animal products.
This program seeks to harmonize SPS processes to improve animal health systems at the continental, regional and bilateral levels.FAS seeks to support provision of technical agricultural assistance in support of national and regional technical training, research, and outreach programs for RECs and MS to improve understanding of international standards; strengthen scientific collaboration; and harmonize SPS standards.
FAS anticipates the recipient will undertake collaborative research and publicize scientific findings by:Providing technical assistance to implement the AHSA as well as considering approaches and developing policy guidelines to support RECs and MS in the implementation of measures aligned to the AfCFTA’s SPS Annex 7. Developing and administering workshops; virtual meetings; technical assistance; online tools; and other platforms to familiarize African regulators with U. S. and international animal health regulations and procedures to educate and train REC and MS technical experts.With USDA, providing expertise to AU-IBAR, along with RECs and MS, to improve outcomes on priority animal health issues, including:Development, adoption, and implementation of risk-based regulatory measures facilitating trade, relying on OIE standardsTransparency and collaborative exchange of good regulatory practices among RECs and MSHarmonization of biosecurity measures, building on existing standard methods and procedures (SMP-AH) and other programsAccess, uptake, and good governance of animal production technologiesPrevention of antimicrobial resistance in the animal production sector.