Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise (IZSAM), under the auspices and with the scientific and technical support of the Italian Ministry of Health, organised the second workshop titled “Strengthening ERFAN through the support of OIE Reference Laboratories/Collaboration Centres in the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) Region” with the participation of representatives of National Competent Authorities, Laboratories, Universities from 5 AMU countries partners. The workshop, addressed to the countries of the Maghreb Arab Union (AMU) region, was held on 3 and 4 May at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Tunis following the previous meeting for partners from sub-Saharan Africa – the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region – held on 4 and 5 October 2017 at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Representatives of relevant national authorities, laboratories and universities attended the Tunis workshop from five AMU countries, Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.

The strengthening of the ERFAN network aims to facilitate the creation of networks of laboratories and veterinary schools to improve research and support the transfer of know-how between African countries, strengthening collaboration between the countries of the SADC region and those of the Arab Maghreb Union, considering existing bilateral, regional, sub-regional and inter-regional agreements and collaboration activities with the IZSAM and the Italian Ministry of Health.

The workshop was useful to evaluate the first results of the ERFAN network, plan new research activities, identify future areas of collaboration and priorities defined in the national strategic plans, and define the work plan for the period 2017-2021. Specifically, the two days provided useful indications on project hypotheses concerning brucellosis, food hygiene and vector-borne diseases.