ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia and Somalia signed cross border memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance animal disease control and livestock trade last Thursday.
Ministry of Agriculture Public Relation Expert, Bahiru Setegn said, during bilateral signing ceremony, Oumer Hussien, minister of Agriculture Ethiopia, remarks that Ethiopia is working in collaboration with neighboring countries on political, economic and social aspects for mutual benefits of the sister countries.
With IGAD initiative to bring the two counties together and facilitate to develop the implementation framework, the MoU has beenconducted at the ministerial meeting for official endorsement.
On his opening remark, Oumer said that Ethiopia is currently working on prevention and control of trans-boundary animal disease through bilateral and trilateral agreements with neighboring countries. So far, Ethiopia has signed memorandum of understanding for animal health and livestock trade issues with Kenya and Djibouti for the implementation of the operation, Oumer said.
Oumer said, Ethiopia and Somalia have strong cultural and social relationship. The formal and informal trade cross border trade is historic, he added.
On the occasion, Oumer stated that the movement of animals along the border of the two countries is less coordinated. The trans boundary animal diseases is some of the challenges along the border. Therefore, there is a need for coordinated effort to control and prevention transmission of diseases. “The government of Ethiopia is exerting unreserved effort and exhaustively engages in livestock development and various policy and strategies are implemented to boost the sector, Oumar said.
According to him, “We have to work together in harmonized approach in terms of disease, prevention and control. This will be realized through the cross boarder memorandum of understanding, which has been jointly developed by the two countries. Ethiopia is committed to work jointly with Somali to translate the MOU through enhanced animal diseases control, livestock trade thereby benefits the bordering communities, and the national economies, Oumer stressed.
On his part, Hussien Mohamed sheikh Hussien, Minster of livestock, forestry and range of Somalia, stated that Livestock is the backbone of Somalia economy that contributes 60-65 percent of the GDP of the nation.
“Live animals and their products account 80 percent of the exports from Somalia. Since the livelihood of pastoral community along Ethiopia and Somalia border depend on livestock and their products, therefore, we have to jointly prioritize the prevention of trans boundary animal diseases which is threatening our livestock marketing and trade.”
The tremendous changes that the country has experienced in recent years demonstrate the power of commitment to move the country forward. Better future begins with developing outlined activities with in this MOU and endorsement draft implementation framework, Hussien said.