Collaborating towards sustainable development in Africa

In January 2020, a team of three employees from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) visited Ethiopia and Malawi to map potential areas for collaboration within animal health and one health between the NVI and sister institutions in the two African countries. 

-The mission fits well with NVI`s strategy to expand international collaborations and activities, and to contribute to improving animal health - also outside Norwegian borders. The NVI will continue to draw attention to the importance of animal health in the global effort to reach the UN development goals and achieve sustainable food production, says Carlos das Neves, director for reseach and internationalisation, who also participated in the mission.

He adds that these efforts are also perfectly aligned with the recent published Norwegian action plan on sustainable food systems in the context of Norwegian foreign aid and development policy, where it is stated that "diseases in farm animals and fish are a significant risk factor in food production. A number of infectious diseases can be transmitted between animals and humans, and the spread of disease among animals can lead to huge economic losses.”

Development collaborations within animal health and one health can benefit not only animal and human health in Ethiopia or Malawi, but also strengthen the Norwegian competence in preparedness against serious and emerging threats to health and food safety. 

The visit to Malawi also coincided with an official visit by the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Norwegian Ministry for Development to Malawi with the purpose to oversee and learn about ongoing and planned development collaborations between Norway and Malawi.

-We had interesting meetings and fruitful discussions with leaders and scientists at more than ten different institutions working within animal health and one health in the two countries. Many areas of common interest were recognized, and several potential areas for collaboration were identified. The NVI will now continue its efforts to find opportunities to bring some of these ideas into life, in close collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation – NORAD, says das Neves. 

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