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Peace Education

Progress Report in Tsetse Fly Eradication Campaign in Africa

New York, USA - At an informational dinner in New York on Sept. 19, 2014, a progress report was given in the campaign to eradicate the tsetse fly in central Africa and plans to expand the campaign to other parts of Africa.

The meeting at Le Perigord Restaurant was sponsored by the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign / Trypanosomiasis Vector Research & Control Foundation, an African Union initiative based in New York focused on the eradication of the tsetse fly epidemic in five countries of the Central African Region as well as the other four regions of the continent. Tsetse flies are large biting flies that inhabit much of Africa between the Sahara and Kalahari deserts. They feed on the blood of vertebrate animals and are the primary vectors of trypanosomes, parasites that can cause sleeping sickness in humans and kill livestock.

Emcee Ms. Miriam Omala Gauvin, an advisor at the African Union and focal point for the campaign, introduced H.E. Amb. Tete Antonio, permanent observer of the African Union at the UN. On the successful eradication in the countries of Botswana and Namibia, the African Union is committed to removing this scourge from the continent. The event brought together representatives of the five regions of the continent to talk about the initiative for the eradication of the tsetse fly from the 36 remaining countries.

Speakers included Dr. John Kabayo, a research scientist who pioneered the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign at the African Union Commission; Dr. Jochen Albrecht, a specialist on GIS (Global Information Systems) at the Institute for Conscious Global Change; and Dr. Pietro Ceccato, an agronomist and soil scientist at Columbia University who is researching health, agriculture and pest management.

UPF signed a memorandum of understanding with the African Union in 2010, and Dr. Tageldin Hamad, secretary general of UPF, represents UPF as the co-chair of the Trypanosomiasis Vector Research & Control Foundation. The foundation is in partnership with the Institute for Conscious Global Change, which will provide the GIS skills needed in the eradication program. 

The African Union's theme for 2014 is “Food Security and Agriculture.” The eradication of the tsetse fly will ensure access to productive farmland and increased agricultural activity, including livestock farming. This joint work is seen as part of the overall development plan to ensure that the people of each region in the continent can be healthy, educated and economically independent citizens enjoying a 21st-century standard of living.

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