Govt avails N$1.3mln for animal health conference

Windhoek-The first 2017 Cabinet briefing revealed the approval of Namibia to host the 22nd conference of World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) regional commission for Africa that starts today and ends on Friday at Swakopmund.

In this regard, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya, last Friday announced that N$1.3 million has been budgeted for the hosting of the planned OIE conference.

"Cabinet authorised the use of vehicles from the government garage for the transportation of conference participants on arrival at the Walvis Bay Airport," he said.

The conference follows an offer by the government of Namibia during the 83rd General Session of the World Assembly of Delegates of the OIE, held in Paris in May 2015.

Once endorsed by the OIE World Assembly of delegates, recommendations provide an important guideline for the 54 member countries of the OIE Regional Commission for Africa that are expected to attend as well as for the overall organisation.

The purpose of the Conference of the OIE Regional Commissions is to examine animal health, animal welfare and animal production food safety issues within a region and to elaborate recommendations in accordance with the OIE General Rules.

According to a statement on the OIE website, the recommendations to be adopted during the conference will be presented to the World Assembly of delegates of the OIE in May 2017 for endorsement.

Cabinet also proposed that the Namibia Zero Hunger Strategic Roadmap be mainstreamed in the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5). It also approved that the implementation of the Zero Hunger Strategy and Roadmap be coordinated by the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, and be integrated into the blueprint on wealth redistribution and poverty eradication.

Further, he noted that Cabinet took note of the current status of the National Food Security and Nutrition Initiative in Namibia.

According to him, Cabinet authorised the Office of the Prime Minister to appoint an inter-agency steering committee with the task to finalise the National Food Security and Nutrition Policy; and to revive the National Food Security and Nutrition Council to be chaired by the Office of the Prime Minister.

In addition, Cabinet endorsed the National Alliance for Improved Nutrition to serve as a technical partner to advocate for nutrition specific interventions.

Equally, Cabinet also approved the accreditation of five regional hospitals as training hospitals for medical interns and the resourcing thereof.

This includes Rundu, Otjiwarongo, Keetmanshoop, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund hospitals.

Cabinet further approved the sourcing of medical specialists on contract basis from abroad to fulfil the ratio of one specialist per four medical interns.

He also revealed that Cabinet approved and directed the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation to start preparing for the visit of Serbian experts to Namibia, conscious of the fact the Serbian government provided full hospitality to the entire delegation.

He said the ministry should start with the status updates on all pending agreements and to prepare for the visit of Serbian experts to Namibia.

Moreover, he said Cabinet directed the agriculture ministry to explore the possibilities of Belarus supplying fertilisers, agricultural equipment and setting up of a manufacturing or assembly plant for such equipment through a joint venture with a Namibian partner.

Belarus and between institutions of higher learning of the two countries.

Cabinet also engaged the international relations ministry to follow up on the co-signing of a letter to the executive summary of the SADC requesting her to place a solidarity conference on the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic on the agenda of the next SADC ministerial committee of the organ and to facilitate the commencement of work of the joint committee of experts on the Orange River boundary.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia