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The African Union


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



Description: The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of all 55 countries on the African continent.

The main objectives of the AU are to relieve the continent of the remaining evidence of colonization and apartheid; to promote unity and solidarity among African States; to coordinate and intensify cooperation for development; to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States; and to promote international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations.

The AU provides a forum for all African Member States to adopt coordinated positions on matters of common concern to the continent in international fora and defend the interests of Africa.

The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), which is a specialized technical office of the African Union Commission, has taken leadership for the development of animal welfare across Africa. AU-IBAR has worked with its partners to develop an Animal Welfare Strategy for Africa (AWSA) and a four-year action plan. The AWSA and the implementation mechanism, the African Platform for Animal Welfare (APAW), were validated in July 2017 at African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

AU-IBAR’s strategic niche is to work at continental and regional levels, through the RECs and with other regional bodies as key partners.
They now have a clear mandate in regards to animal welfare across Africa.

New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is a program of the African Union (AU) adopted in 2001. NEPAD is an intervention, spearheaded by African leaders to pursue new priorities and approaches to the political and socio-economic transformation of Africa. NEPAD's objective is to enhance Africa's growth, development and participation in the global economy.

NEPAD's work falls under four programs, one of which covers Natural Resources Governance and Food Security. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) falls under this program as well. CAADP is Africa’s policy framework for “agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all.”

Organization Type: Continental Union
Issue areas covered:

The African Union has now also recognized animal welfare, and a meeting held by AU-IBAR in Kenya in November/December 2015 recommended that an Africa Platform for Animal Welfare be established. AU-IBAR hosted a retreat which began work on the development of a continental Regional Animal Welfare Strategy (RAWS) from 6-8 March 2017 in Naivasha, Kenya. This will be followed by a Chief Veterinary Officers common position and validation.

AU-IBAR’s strategic niche is to work at continental and regional levels, through the RECs and with other regional bodies as key partners.
They have a clear mandate in regards to animal welfare and would be specifically interested in policy and legislative support.

Key opportunities and dates for input: 

Now that the continental RAWS has been validated, there will be opportunities for AP technical assistance and implementation support at all levels (continental, REC, and country).

Requirements for participation: 

A number of APOs have been included on the African Platform for Animal Welfare, including WAN.

Advocacy Opportunities:
  • There is significant scope for both advocacy and implementation support.
  • There will be considerable advocacy opportunity with African RECs and countries after the continental RAWS has been adapted.
  • There will also be considerable advocacy opportunity with RECs in other continents, using the AU as an example.
  • NEPAD is responsible for providing technical expertise and support for agriculture across Africa, but currently has very little knowledge of animal welfare. Most representatives see it as little but a trade barrier! Subsequently, there is a real need for implementation monitoring and support.
  • AU-IBAR is encouraging the development of further Regional Animal Welfare Strategies (RAWS) at REC level, with an initial focus on support for the development of strategies for the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This will provide further opportunities for advocacy and implementation support at REC level in Africa.



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