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Strategic Programme 4 : Standards and Regulations

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4. Key Results Areas

To enhance the provision of safe food of animal origin to its population and to take part actively in the regional, inter-regional and global trade, African nations should strengthen their national SPS institutions in order to participate effectively in the development and application of international standards and regulations required for food safety, export of animal and animal products, and control of animal diseases.

The key results areas are:

  • Strengthening the capacity of Member States and RECs to contribute effectively in the formulation of international standards and regulations.
  • Improving coordination for common/coordinated positions by African countries.
  • Broadening participation of stakeholders in the animal industry in standards development processes.
  • Harmonization of cross-border sanitary measures.
  • Harmonization of policies, guidelines and modalities for implementing sanitary measures.
  • Building capacity among Member States to implement sanitary measures and monitor compliance with regional and international standards; and support to national SPS coordinating mechanisms for this purpose.
  • Developing national and regional traceability and alert systems.
  • Facilitation of RECs to establish formal agreement with the OIE.
  • Development of sanitary certification schemes.
  • Development of identification and traceability systems in pastoral areas.
  • Establishment of a secretariat to support coordination of animal health and safety standards.
  • Establishing regional food safety and veterinary offices in the RECs to ensure harmonized tracking of and support for compliance.

Outcomes and impacts

Strengthening the capacities of Member States and RECs in the field of standards and regulations will raise the ability to influence standard development process, facilitate trade and access to market, and enforce the standards for producers and consumers' protection.

5. AU-IBAR's roles and strategies to achieve desired goals

There is an increasing realization that trade in livestock and livestock products are vital for development in Africa. All issues that impede trade, including TADs and food safety, need to be addressed to access higher value markets – in and out of Africa. This task includes consideration of the need for regional guidelines for trade, not as standards inferior to international ones but as a means of achieving progressive improvements in sanitary standards for trade in livestock and livestock products. Efforts need to be made to define more clearly the technical, marketing, financial and sociological constraints to such trade and to identify strategies and mechanisms for overcoming them. Strategies that will underpin delivery of the objectives of this programme include:

  • Building expertise within AU-IBAR in order to have the capacity to support Member States and RECs.
  • Developing strategic partnerships with standard setting bodies and other relevant entities to deliver effective capacity development and support for Member States and RECs.
  • Analyses and understanding of the processes and requirements of the global standards and regulations environment to keep African stakeholders abreast of emerging issues, likely implications and needed actions at various levels.
  • Establishing effective mechanisms for implementing standards with peer-review mechanisms for compliance.
  • Establishing a forum for stakeholder networking and mobilization on standards and regulations.
  • Establishing a standing committee of AU Member State experts on animal health and food safety.

To reach these objectives AU-IBAR roles will be focused on:

  • Technical support and capacity building.
  • Coordination of actions that require involvement of multiple countries/RECs.
  • Partnership promotion.
  • Resource mobilization.
  • Facilitation of common platforms to enhance effectiveness in delivery of interventions at the continental level.
  • Advice and advocacy.
  • Facilitation of participation of African countries in standard setting bodies, e.g. Codex Alimentarius Commission, OIE, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
  • Better coordination of common position for Africa (Africa speaking with one voice) and facilitation of participation in ISSOs activities.