The Africa Animal Welfare Conference is an annual conference co-hosted by Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) in collaboration with UN Environment for professionals and practitioners, coming together to discuss issues that cut across animal welfare, wildlife and environmental conservation.

The theme of third edition, that took place from 2 to 4 September at the UNECA complex in Addis Abeba, was: Animals, Environment and Sustainable Development in 21st Century Africa: An Interlinked Approach.

Conference organizer, Josiah Ojwang, speaks on the focus that has been given to address ongoing dire challenges faced in different countries. “Our concern in this conference is that we need to find a platform to strike a balance and a sustainable at that, between the first phase of sustainable infrastructural growth in Africa and environmental protection. At the same time, we aim to bring in issues of animal welfare and link them to One Health and Environment.”

The International Organisation for Animal Protection (OIPA) was represented at the Conference by Mr. Che Gilbert Ayunwi who is the Country Representative for OIPA in Cameroon.

The conference took the form of an Africa-wide platform and brought together an array of high caliber of experts in various thematic areas from different nations across the world.

It highlighted pertinent issues arising from the uncontainable infrastructural boom that has been experienced in Africa over the last decade. This conference was aligned to the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063, which has a vision for “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena,” by integrating these issues to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

Unique opportunities were provided for animal welfare civil society groups, non-governmental organisations, and relevant stakeholders including researchers, policymakers and development practitioners, to debate about animal welfare in the context of Africa’s development.

The Conference comprised of several plenary sessions led by experts in animal welfare and African development as well as break-out sessions and workshops that featured presentations and discussions by prominent academics, policy makers, private sector actors, opinion leaders, young African researchers and representatives from development organizations.

The hybrid plenary breakout sessions had a broad range of discussions on the following topics:

-Development and Trade Globalisation: Threats to Animal Welfare

-Impact of Disasters on Animal Welfare in Africa

-Policy challenges to advancement of Animal Welfare in Africa

-Interplay between Pollution and Animal Welfare

-Technology and Animal Welfare: a bitter-sweet state

-Status of National and International Declarations on Animal Welfare in Africa

This allowed more in-depth and technical analyses of salient issues arising from the thematic focus of the Conference, which exposed the current state and prospects for Africa’s transformation and inclusive growth and generated valuable insights for improved policy making.

Our representative Che Gilbert Ayunwi found the event extremely stimulating.

The conference provided him with valuable skills that will be used to sensitize the Cameroon Community on how to safeguard wildlife, combat illegal trade of wildlife, ensure the welfare of working animals and conserve the environment through appropriate practices. It was also an opportunity to meet with other people working for the common goal of animal protection and share ideas and experiences. This will hopefully help to improve networking and collaboration among associations.

Well done OIPA Cameroon!

You can learn more about our activities in Cameroon here