Participation of African Nations in Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standard-Setting Organizations

Project Funding
EURO 3,855,000
Project Start
Project Completion
Project Status
Project Brief/Background

Exporting countries need to prove that the standards they are applying are science-based, equivalent, and does not constitute a barrier to trade.

African countries have had it difficult proving that the products they export meet international standards and are equivalent to those of their developed-country trading partners.

Most programmes that address SPS related problems have focused on technical issues of compliance

Less work has been done on promoting participation in setting SPS standards meetings where effective participation of African countries in the formulation of international SPS standards remains a fundamental problem

Project Outcomes

Expected results of PAN-SPSO

  1. African SPS entities for effective participation in SPS standard stetting activities empowered.
  2. Common positions on SPS standards at continental and regional levels reached by African nations.
  3. Scientific capacity of African institutions to provide adequate input into standard-setting activity established.
  4. SPS-related data and information acquired and disseminated to African institutions via a newly established, publicly accessible information sharing platform.
Project Meetings and Trainings

Inception workshop

IBAR conducted a consultative workshop for the inception of the programme PAN-SPSO 23/24 July in Nairobi. Participants of the workshop were the SPS- or livestock-designated officers of the Regional Economic Communities recognised by the African Union and representatives of the programme stakeholders on the African Union side such as AU/IBAR, AU/IAPSC, AUC/DREA.

Steering committee

The programme convened its first steering committee at AU/IBAR in Nairobi on 4 February 2009. The meeting reviewed the first eight months of programme activity and provided guidance for the next steps.

Concensus on international animal health standards workshop

IBAR conducted a consultative workshop for African Chef Veterinary Officers under the programme PAN-SPSO in Nairobi 5 - 7 May 2009. Participants of the workshop were the African Chief Veterinary Officers, the Regional Economic Communities recognised by the African Union, the African Union Commission, the European Community, World Animal Health Organization (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Objective of the workshop

The World Animal Health Organization (OIE) has been mandated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish international standards in animal health. Participation of African nations in the standard setting process in usually weak due of insufficient capacities and lack of a coordinated and harmonized stand. International standards are therefore mainly set by developed countries and often form serious barriers to trade for African countries. The objective of this first workshop of African Chief Veterinary Officers is to build concensus for African delegates to the OIE general session in late May 2009. Based on a scientific approach and considering the peculiarities of Africa, this concensus will ensure that Africa speaks with one voice.

The opening ceremony was followed by a statement by IBAR on the Novel Influenza A H1N1 and adoption of a common declaration of African CVOs on that matter.

Training-of-trainers (TOT) workshops

In July 2009, IBAR conducted two training-of-trainers (TOT) workshops targeted at the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and selected African experts in sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues. The training was aimed at improving the efficiency of participation of African nations in the activities of WTO SPS committee and international standards setting bodies.

The first training held in Nairobi, Kenya 13-16 July 2009 brought together representatives from the English-speaking African countries while the Bamako, Mali training on 20-23 July 2009 targeted francophone Africa.

Pan African workshop for the review of Draft International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures

IBAR conducted a Pan African workshop for the review of Draft International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures from 28–30 July 2009 in Nairobi/Kenya. The meeting was attended by 27 representatives of countries that are contracting parties of the International Plant Protection Convention IPPC, FAO, United States Department for Agriculture USDA, European Union and IPPC Secretariat.

First Pan-African meeting of National CODEX contact officers to review draft CODEX documents of interest to Africa

The first Panafrican meeting of the Codex National Contact Point Officers was held at the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), in Nairobi, Kenya from 1 to 4 December 2009, to review draft Codex documents related to Codex issues of interest to Africa.

The general objective of the meeting was to strengthen the role and enhance the effective participation of African Union Member States in the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) Committees meetings, by ensuring adequate preparation and proper coordination of country positions.

Specifically, the meeting was to:

  1. To collate national views and develop regional positions on issues of interest to Member States currently being discussed in CAC
  2. Use Information Communications Technology to foster and enhance communication between the AU Member States and International Standard Setting Organizations.
  3. To achieve effective participation of all countries in the Region in the activities of Codex Alimentarius Commission and its subsidiary bodies, and
  4. To promote the establishment of Codex Contact Points and National Codex Committees in Member Countries of the African Region and strengthen their performance.