22-25 January. Arusha. Tanzania. Regional workshop on the harmonisation of food safety measures in Africa – organised by the East African Community (EAC).
The workshop aimed at strengthening harmonization of the food hygiene management through “Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF) in Africa”. The objective is to facilitate the harmonization of food safety measures in Africa, through the application, region-by-region, of Reference Framework and Guidelines for Harmonization of the Management of the Food Hygiene, enhancing intra and inter-regional trade and integration in Africa.
The workshop was organized by the EAC in partnership with the European Union. The European Union, under the EU Africa Strategy, plans to establish a 1 billion euros Pan African programme geared towards providing financial assistance to bulk of farmers in Africa so as to enhance food security. The European Commission’s Directorate General Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) jointly with the l’Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA) organized last year a similar regional workshop on the harmonization of the management of the food hygiene in West Africa, from 4 to 8 June 2012 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Moustapha Magumu, first secretary of agriculture with the delegation of the European Union to the African Union, confirmed that a proposal is under discussion in EU parliament, which after approval, will also be discussed by the EU council of ministers.
“Once approved, the funds will be factored in the EU Africa Strategy of 2014-2020 to address various issues in the agriculture sector. The long term strategy is over and above any bilateral agreement EU will sign with respective countries.”
Magumu urged African nations to pursue sound and workable measures to enhance food security and food safety in order to feed the surging population. He observed that Africa has huge potential in agriculture as it provides substantial input to the national economies and provides an avenue for dealing with poverty, insecurity, unemployment, and development.
EAC deputy secretary general in charge of productive and social sectors Jesca Eriyo lauded EAC for implementing its food policy security action plan of 2011-2015.