African Union Development Agency-NEPAD ABNE (AUDA-NEPAD ABNE) held a retreat from February 18 – 22 in Johannesburg to finalise ABNE new strategic plan and programme documents. As the current phase II of ABNE is about to end on December 2019, ABNE Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) recommended that a strategic plan be developed to define the vision, mission and strategic objectives for the next five years.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Aggrey Ambali, Head of AUDA-NEPAD Industrialisation, Science, Technology and Innovation, congratulated all participants for the results achieved in the past year. He mentioned the TAC meeting held in Seattle in December where TAC member commended the team for the good work. He encouraged all to keep this positive momentum. He also highlighted the fact that NEPAD has become AUDA-NEPAD with more competence and authority to coordinate and execute AU programmes.
Dr Jeremy Ouedraogo, ABNE Director, welcomed staff to the retreat and wishes them the best for the New Year 2019. He pointed out there is a lot to deliver this year and that the team needs to work closely together. He added that the team also needs to be actively part of the new story of the Agency, especially with the establishment of AUDA-NEPAD.
The 5-day meeting helped to thoroughly amend the draft version of the strategic plan and include all the new dimensions of ABNE work. The broader scope of the requests from member states to ABNE on regulatory matters going beyond Agriculture and Environment to cover Health, Livestock and fisheries, Emerging technologies and Biosecurity was a new development implying to elaborate a strategic plan with Vision, Missions and strategic objectives.
The new comprehensive strategic plan will definitely need a robust funding system from members states but also from African and international donors. In that regard, the retreat was an opportunity to build a full proposal that could meet the requirements of ABNE major donors. Securing adequate funding will help ABNE effectively undergo its institutional transformation and growth to become the envisioned fully operational African Union technical body on all areas pertaining to biosafety and biosecurity.