The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) / United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) /FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Africa (CCAfrica) Colloquium on Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) was held in Lomé, Togo from 17 to 19 February 2015 at the Hôtel IBIS. The participants comprised Food Safety experts including Codex Contact Point Officers/persons, senior experts and officials under ministries of health, agriculture, livestock and fisheries from Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Togo, United Republic of Tanzania and United States of America, and representatives from AU-IBAR and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).
Funded by the USDA Codex office, the Colloquium was officially opened by Mr. Babako Moet, Secretary General, representing the Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Government of Togo. Dr. Bonfoh, Director General of the Institut Togolais de Recherche Agronomique (ITRA) gave opening remarks on behalf of the ITRA which is the Codex Contact Point for Togo. AU-IBAR opening remarks were given by Dr. Raphael Coly, AU-IBAR PANSPSO Coordinator, while USDA remarks were made by Mrs Mary Frances Lowe, U.S. Codex Manager. CCAfrica opening remarks were given by Mr. Jean Martin Etoundi, Secrétaire Technique du CCAFRICA.
The objectives of the colloquium were:
- To get updates on Africa food safety issues as they relate to studies and control of mycotoxins, Ochratoxin in coffee and cocoa in Cote d'Ivoire and fumonisins in maize in Tanzania;
- To identify areas of capacity building on Codex participation and on food safety organization in Africa including risk analysis and establishment of food control authorities at national and regional levels;
- To exchange views and share experiences between CCAfrica and U.S. Codex Delegates on Codex draft standards under discussion in various Codex committees;
- To find opportunities to collaborate on strategies for advancing shared regional positions; and
- To adopt harmonized positions on key Codex issues of importance to both regions.
The Colloquium was organized in such a manner that presentations were made on day one in a plenary. The plenary presentations included:
- An overview and objectives of the colloquium;
- Reinforcing National Codex Committees: Case of countries in Central Africa;
- Importance of science in the Codex work with reference to the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA); the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR); and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meetings on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA);
- Determination of contamination level of ochratoxin A in green coffee beans and cocoa at export;
- The risk management dilemma for fumonisin mycotoxins – study done in Tanzania; and
- Discussion on the implementation of the CCAfrica Regional Codex guideline "CAC/GL 43R-2003: African Regional Guidelines for Codex Contact Points and National Codex Committees"
The workshop on exit strategy for the national SPS Committee of Burkina Faso was held on 11th and 12th August 2014 at Hôtel des conférences ouind yidé in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Twenty seven members of the national SPS committee (NSPSC) of Burkina Faso and two representatives of AU-IBAR attended the workshop.
The opening ceremony was chaired by Mr. Lucien SAWADOGO, Director of Plant Health Services.
The presentation of the national SPS committee and the legal text taken by the government to official create and organize the SPS committee was made and commented in order to bring all members on the same level of information and understanding. The next step will be the nomination of the representatives in the committee.
Presentations on standard setting processes of OIE, IPPC and Codex were made by Officers from the Veterinary services, Plant health services and the Codex contact point and an Officer from the Ministry of Trade presented WTO and the SPS Agreement. It was clear from the participants that these three national organizations have their respective responsibilities and they need to work in synergy within the national SPS committee in collaboration with the private sector, the consumers' organizations, the academia and the research institutions.
AU-IBAR, in partnership with the Government of Burundi, organized a national workshop for the consolidation of the National SPS committee, in the scope of the PANSPSO project. The workshop was held on 8th and 9th July 2014 in Bujumbura, Burundi.
The National SPS Committee has been officially established in 2013 in Burundi, through the signature of a presidential decree.
The National SPS committee is functional and holds regular meeting, gathering representatives of stakeholders from both the public and private sector, involved in SPS related activities. The National SPS committee main objective is to improve coordination and consultation between the various actors of the SPS arena.
The meeting was attended by 25 participants from various public institutions and civil society organizations. It was officially opened by Madam Marie Rose NIZIGIYIMANA, Minister for Trade, Industry, Posts and tourism of the Republic of Burundi.
- African National Codex Contact Points (NCCPs) reached common positions on Codex standards and related texts referred to the 37th Session to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)
- African OIE Delegates reached common positions on animal health standards
- Workshop on Exit Strategy for the NSPSC of Guinea
- PAN-SPSO Fourth Steering Committee Meeting