Members of the Ethiopian GDP Taskforce

Members of the Ethiopian GDP Taskforce

A national taskforce has started examining how Ethiopia can better calculate the contribution of livestock to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Based on the findings of an IGAD LPI study, “Livestock Contribution to the Ethiopian Economy”, which found the contribution of livestock to the agricultural GDP to be more than 80% higher than previously thought, the Ethiopian Livestock Policy Forum is advocating for more resources for the sector. The forum is also collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) by way of the taskforce to recommend changes to the methodology MoFED uses in calculating GDP.

The taskforce, with members drawn from MoFED, Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), the Central Statistics Agency (CSA), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute (EARI), the Pastoral Forum Ethiopia (PFE) and the Ethiopian Veterinary Association (EVA), held its first meeting on February 11, 2011 at IGAD LPI’s office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


H.E. Eng. Mahboub Maalim addressing the Meeting
H.E. Eng. Mahboub Maalim addressing the Meeting

The Executive Secretary of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Eng. Mahboub Maalim stressed the determination of the Secretariat to set up an IGAD Center for Pasoralism and Livestock Development, which would, among other things, help in maintaining the gains made by the IGAD LPI. Eng. Maalim went on further to underline the importance of livestock in poverty reduction and food security efforts in the region which is currently receives 40% of the world’s food aid. IGAD Executive Secretary made his remarks while opening the Djibouti Policy Hub meeting, on the 16th and 17th February 2011 in Djibouti, organized by IGAD LPI. In its two-day meeting, the Djibouti Policy Hub took a major step forward to review and validate pro-poor project concepts which, when ultimately incorporated in the country’s national planning document (INDS), will go a long way towards improving the livelihoods of the poor men and women who are dependent on livestock. In his remarks, H.E. Idris Abdou Ali, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Sea, also underscored the key principles of pro-poor policy making, emphasizing that the recommendations from this participatory and multi-stakeholder forum for the livestock sector will be integrated into INDS and also in CAADP.

CTA Dil Peeling with officials of IGAD Secretariat and Member States, outlining the proposed mandate for the pastoralism and livestock centre
CTA Dil Peeling with officials of IGAD Secretariat and Member States, outlining the proposed mandate for the pastoralism and livestock centre

A little over a year since IGAD LPI facilitated agreement of a policy framework among its livestock ministers, detailing how they will collaborate to support the region’s 43 million poor livestock keepers, the IGAD secretariat took a major step forward this week with the first meeting of a steering committee to develop the concept of an IGAD Centre for Pastoralism and Livestock Development (ICAPLD). The steering committee is responding to article 5 of the regional policy framework, which calls for such a unit to be put in place. It is also a response to a Communiqué, issued by the 33rd Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers, directing the secretariat to explore the possibility of establishing a strategic institution for management of natural resources and governance of the drylands. Its work will conclude with an assessment and recommendations to the Council of Ministers on the feasibility of the centre. A positive outcome would open the door for IGAD to assume a key role at the heart of poverty focussed policy development for the drylands that cover more than half of its landmass.

Many of IGAD LPI’s stakeholders are also watching the development of the centre as hopes are high that it will provide an important regional link for their national policy hubs, as IGAD LPI’s activities draw to a close in February 2012

IGAD LPI’s Chief Technical Adviser, Dil Peeling, joined representatives of IGAD member states and the IGAD secretariat for the meeting on 27th February in Djibouti. “One of early lessons of IGAD LPI was that that member states want to manage regional issues regionally, and improve the level of coordination between themselves.” he said, adding “In terms of developing the capacity to do that, it looks like we are seeing a new chapter opening, with this meeting.”

Women members of the Sudanese Policy Hub have been central to the formulation of projects that specifically target poor women.

Women members of the Sudanese Policy Hub have been central to the formulation of projects that specifically target poor women.

Representing a milestone in their engagement with national development planning, the Sudanese Policy Hub issued a series of projects aimed at supporting the livelihoods of poor livestock keepers living in all parts of the Sudan. Pasture improvement, capacity building for pastoral men and women and rangeland management are all addressed in the project proposals.
Opening the policy hub meeting, which was convened on the 27th and 28th December, 2010 in Khartoum, State Minister of Animal Resources and Fisheries (MARF), H.E. Major Gen. Ismail Khameis Galab, underlined that the Ministry would like to see the Policy Hub proposing projects that would positively impact the lives of millions, including the pastoral communities and women.
Dr. Ammar Idris, IGAD LPI National Technical Focal Point remarked that the Sudanese Policy Hub has shown a remarkable shift of perception in analysing and conceptualising livestock issues in a bid to adequately address policy gaps that primarily affect the livelihoods of those poor men and women, rather than solely focussing on issues of production and export. The proposed projects, he added, would bring about changes in the lives of the poor rural communities by reducing poverty and food insecurity.
The proposed eleven projects, which encompass all aspects of livestock development from disease control to market access, will now pass to the Ministry of Finance and National Economy for budgeting and further elaboration.  

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The Ugandan Policy Hub at its latest Meeting in Kampala

The Ugandan Policy Hub at its latest Meeting in Kampala

The Ugandan Policy Hub meeting, held on the 20th and 21st January 2011 in Kampala, discussed  a proposal for the establishment and funding of a Livestock Policy Forum which will gradually replace the existing Policy Hub established under IGAD LPI thus ensuring its work continues after IGAD LPI’s implementation phase. The meeting also drew up a work plan for the year 2011 and reviewed livestock related proposals for inclusion and funding in the country’s Agricultural Sector Development Strategy Investment Plan (DSIP). 
Dr. Nicholas Kauta, IGAD LPI Steering Committee Member (SCM) for Uganda and the Acting Director of Animal Resources at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), briefed the Policy Hub on the recommendations coming out of the 6th IGAD LPI Steering Committee Meeting, which stressed the importance of sustaining the Policy Hubs and National Information Node as well as the activities initiated by IGAD LPI. During a wrap up meeting, Dr Otieno Mtula, Policy Adviser at IGAD LPI, discussed upcoming collaborative work on Disaster Risk Management (DRM) with the IGAD LPI Uganda country team. The task builds on the Regional Policy Framework agreed and will be implemented in collaboration with the “Regional Initiative in Support of Vulnerable Pastoralists and Agro-pastoralists in the Horn of Africa” Project. The Project will support decision making at field, national and regional levels. 

Members of the Kenyan Policy Hub

Members of the Kenyan Policy Hub

The Kenyan Policy Hub convened on 8th December 2010 to call for a more vibrant and independent “Kenyan Pro-poor Livestock Policy Forum”, building on its experiences with  IGAD LPI. Having looked at a range of options for its sustainability after IGAD LPI ends in February 2012, the Forum proposed the continuation of its mandate, but with a new structure and a renewed commitment to advance the cause of poorer and women livestock keepers.  The Policy Hub underscored the need for linkages with government to preserve its policy relevance,  but proposed strengthening its advocacy role by locating itself beyond government structures. This would be through a task force comprised of government, civil society organisations, private sector, international organisations, inter-governmental organisations and regional bodies.
Although the Information Node would continue to be located within government structures it would be elevated to the departmental level with an expanded mandate.

Dr. Julia Kinyua, who has been facilitating the growth of the Policy Hub for the last two years, welcomed its analysis and recommendations as another step in the Policy Hub’s coming of age. “It is very gratifying to see the Hub mature and take its role in articulating the voice of poor and women livestock keepers so seriously” she added.

IGAD LPI Steering Committee Members

The 6th Steering Committee (SC), held on 14th and 15th December in Naivasha, Kenya, stressed the importance of maintaining the momentum of the Policy Hubs and the Information Nodes created by IGAD LPI across all IGAD member states, after the end of the project in February 2012. National Steering Committee Members presented their plans for national internalisation of project institutions, following discussions held within their policy hubs. Their proposals were in some cases ambitious, while others represented a fundamental re-think on their preferred  structure. In all cases, however, they re-affirmed that, building on the experience of IGAD LPI and the policy hubs, there is a strongly felt need for strong, poverty focussed national think-tanks, coupled to policy making.

IGAD further presented its plans for continuing the work of IGAD LPI after its closure in February 2012, which will in large part be taken forward by the forthcoming IGAD livestock centre. Commending the work done by IGAD LPI, Mr Maina Karaba, Acting Director of Agriculture and Environment at the IGAD Secretariat, and Chairperson of the Meeting, explained how the centre would build up on what has been achieved so far by IGAD LPI.

Presenting the proposed workplan for 2011, IGAD LPI’s Chief Technical Adviser, Dr Dil Peeling, stressed that with 14 months left to run, the project was not yet ready to wind down. He proposed several areas of engagement which would be coupled to a process of lesson learning in order to inform the institutionalisation of project gains at national level, and the establishment of the centre at regional level.  

IGAD LPI SCM Recommendations