• Barclays Bank Botswana and BVI host a conference to sensitise African countries towards sustainable preventative measures for animal disease control.
  • Minister of Agriculture endorses and commends joint effort that demonstrates how Botswana is pioneering sustainable agriculture in Africa.
  • Project is in line with FAO/OIE Global Framework for better control of trans-boundary diseases.

Barclays Bank Botswana has collaborated with Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) to host a workshop that draws attention to sustainable preventative control of animal diseases for the purpose of improving rural livelihoods in Africa. The workshop took place at Mokolodi Nature Reserve today, including delegates from around the world.

A large majority of African communities rely on agricultural livelihood. Livestock accounts for over 30% of agricultural GDP, offering opportunities for sustainable economic development, social well-being, food security and nutrition. However, the prevalence of high impact infectious Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) such as foot and mouth disease is resulting in underperformance and subdued productivity within the agricultural sector. Such diseases also leave humans vulnerable to health risks reflected in the increase of diseases such as anthrax, rabies and TB, to name a few.

The partnership will engage Heads of Missions, Ministries of Agriculture and other stakeholders from various African states as both BVI and Barclays Bank Botswana establish an environment that allows for the adequate supply of high quality vaccines.

Speaking at the conference, the Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Patrick Ralotsi commended the initiative by Barclays Bank Botswana and BVI as it demonstrates Botswana’s pioneering efforts in advancing the sustainability of the agricultural sector in Africa.

“This project is in line with the Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Organisation for Animal Health (FAO/OIE) Global Framework that calls for greater control of transboundary diseases with the eventual goal of eradication, where possible. Sub-saharan Africa has seen the devastating effects which diseases like foot and mouth have had on animal health and agricultural sectors. The collaboration between Barclays Bank Botswana and BVI demonstrates how private-public partnerships are vital to successfully tackle our common cross-border challenges,” noted BVI General Manager, G. Matlho.

The demand for food and livestock products continues to grow exponentially with increased populations, providing an opportunity for Botswana and neighbouring countries to make a contribution towards global agricultural sustainability.

“The benefits that will arise from this effort are multidimensional as various socio-economic groups will be positively impacted. Beneficiaries range from small farmers who rely on their livestock for income, to livestock traders to the general public who will have peace of mind as they will be better protected against the effects of livestock-related diseases,” explained Barclays Bank Botswana Managing Director, Reinette van der Merwe.