Namibia and Angola sign MoU
Speaking at the signing ceremony on Thursday, Agriculture Minister, John Mutorwa said transboundary animal diseases among many other constraints continue to hamstring the socio-economic development and progress of our people, especially so as it concerns their daily livelihoods, poverty eradication and the fight against hunger and disease.
“But the spreading and movement of diseases do neither respect international borders nor do they require official travelling documents or expensive mode of transport. The area bordering Angola which we in Namibia refer to as the Northern Communal Areas is home to over 60% of Namibians. In addition, the area also has over 1,5 billion cattle and 1,2 billion small stock, among other types of livestock. The potential value of these resources are in excess of N$10 billion,” he said.
He further said that despite this huge potential, livestock farmers in these areas have not benefited and are not benefiting significantly from their economic value. The main constraint has been and continues to be the lack of access to lucrative markets.
The MoU is expected to cement relations between the two countries in the areas of animal disease surveillance, control and eradication focusing mainly on foot and mouth disease, lung sickness, development of animal health and marketing infrastructure, human resource development, expertise in agricultural extension and research, human, material and technological resources, marketing livestock and livestock products and foot safety as well as preparing dossiers for submission to the OIE for declaration of freedom from foot and mouth disease and CBPP amongst others.
Speaking through a translator, the Minister for Agriculture of Angola, Alfonso Pedro Cango said that with this MoU both parties are creating a platform for livestock farmers in those areas to raise their animals to improve their livelihood.
He said, through signing this MoU, Namibia and Angola would like to set an example for other countries who face the same problem to follow suit and act accordingly.