Strengthening Food Safety Systems in Africa

Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service
Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Fellowships

Reference Number

USDA-FAS-10960-0700-10-21-0019

BackgroundThe United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) seeks to support the efforts of African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Member States (MS) in improving understanding and uniform application of science-based sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards among food safety actors in the region in accordance with International Standard Setting Bodies (ISSBs) Umbrella policies under the African Union Commission’s (AUC) Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (AU-DARBE) lead regional SPS efforts. On January 1, 2021 the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Agreement) went into effect to create the largest free trade block in the world, consisting of 54 nations. Implementation of Annex 7 on SPS of the AfCFTA highlights the pressing need to support RECs and MS in strengthening legislation and regulations that are based on science and international standards to facilitate the trade of agricultural products. In 2019, AU-DARBE led in the development of an SPS Policy Framework that was adopted by heads of state in March 2020. The Framework provides an implementation mechanism for the SPS Chapter of the AfCFTA with a clear action plan including objectives, strategies and responsibilities for RECs, MS and other national and international partners to strengthen their SPS/Food Safety regulatory systems. This program seeks to harmonize SPS processes, focusing on food safety, at the continental, regional and bilateral levels. SPS measures are the foundation for safe trade, as they are critical to protecting human, animal and plant health, and prevent the introduction and spread of pests, and are essential to increase Africa’s ability to export products to regional and global markets. Harmonized SPS measures will achieve goals and commitments under the Malabo Declaration, Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) and Agenda 2063. Insufficient capacity to enforce SPS measures can result in a country’s exclusion from key markets, and poorly applied procedures can result in unnecessary costs, creating inefficiencies in the trading system. ObjectivesImplementation of national and regional technical training, research, and outreach programs for RECs and MS to apply international standards; strengthen scientific collaboration; and harmonize SPS standards. These activities will support RECs and MS to meet commitments defined in the WTO’s SPS Agreement, further outlined in the SPS Policy Framework. The recipient should complement and strengthen linkages to other regional efforts to advance food safety, such as laboratory-based research and education, integrated data collection platforms, and high-level dialogue. The current lack of high-level analytical research and education programming means health authorities are less likely to make informed policy decisions based on science. FAS anticipates the recipient will deliver structured learning in food safety, undertake collaborative research, and publicize and support scientific findings by: § Coordinating with the AU and USDA to provide scientific support to develop and implement the AU’s food safety strategy as well as researching approaches and developing policy guidelines to support RECs and MS in the implementation of food safety measures aligned to the AfCFTA’s SPS Annex 7.§ Collaborating with USDA and other USG agencies to educate and train REC and MS technical experts through workshops; virtual meetings; technical assistance; online tools; and other platforms to familiarize Africa regulators with U.S. food safety inspection regulations and procedures.§ Conducting consultative research with agribusinesses to identify priority areas, including border management processes, in which to identify major food safety barriers to trade between RECs and MS.§ Providing technical assistance and training to support SPS notification, inquiry points, and other tools for reporting on trade and SPS-related matters to the WTO and as results under the Comprehensive Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) Framework indicators.
Categories: Agriculture.

More Information

Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Fellowships

Reference Number

USDA-FAS-10960-0700-10-21-0019

United States