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Uganda officially takes over from Kenya as the new coordinator for Codex in Africa


by CCAFRICA coordinator

On 21 March 2022, during a hybrid meeting hosted in Entebbe, Uganda officially took over from Kenya as the new Regional Coordinator for the African region (CCAFRICA). This follows the appointment of Uganda for the period 2020 to 2022 by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) during its 43rd meeting held virtually in November 2020.

Uganda has been a member of CODEX since 1964 and this is the second time Codex Alimentarius Commission has appointed Uganda to coordinate Codex activities in the region following its first term 20 years ago from 1999 to 2003.

Uganda Kenya handover

Officials at the handover event held in Entebbe, Uganda

During the handover event, the Executive Director, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru remarked that to date, 1082 Uganda Standards have been developed in the area of Food and Agriculture and these provide requirements for ensuring quality and safe food. Among these, 150 standards are directly adopted from Codex including reference to the Codex online database for pesticides to support testing of maximum residue limits in different commodities prior to placement on the market. The availability of food standards has enabled Uganda to develop its quality infrastructure, which has subsequently helped to penetrate key markets in the various food sectors.

The Under Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives representing the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Alfred Oyo Andima officially opened the three day meeting and pledged government support for food safety initiatives to ensure public health and fair trade.

Hybrid session

Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt joins Entebbe meeting online

The Codex Secretary, Mr. Tom Heilandt highlighted how the Codex Secretariat had developed and deployed new tools over the past two years to combat the effects of COVID-19 to ensure continued delivery of the standard development. He further appreciated the role played by Kenya as coordinator for the last five years and encouraged Uganda to keep making progress.

The meeting was also addressed by Ms. Evelyn Sagal representing the WHO Country Office, Mr. John Oppong-Otoo from the African Union – InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources, Lt. Col. (Rtd) Bernard N. Njiraini from Kenya Bureau of Standards as well the Vice Chairperson of CAC, Dr. Allan Azegele who all highlighted the importance of Codex standards on the continent.

Awilo Ochieng Pernet

Addressing the delegates at the meeting, Ms. Awilo Ochieng Pernet (pictured left), the Former Chairperson of Codex Alimentarius Commission urged the CCAFRICA Member states to build networks with relevant stakeholders to achieve a lasting impact on food safety, public health, wealth and social welfare of the people.

Uganda’s appointment will market Uganda’s tourism potential and raise awareness of food safety issues through Codex, such as strengthening the food control system in the country and improving quality and safety of locally traded food commodities. The appointment will raise the profile of Codex and food safety issues in Uganda, with increased public awareness on standards for food products elaborated by Codex, positioning Uganda to have an improved access to regional and international markets for exports of her food commodities and products, foreign exchange earnings for the country and promotion of the tourism Industry.

During our tenure as coordinators, great attention will be given to generating regional priorities through a consultative process taking into consideration the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January 2021 which is a turning point for the African continent. Food standards elaborated through the Codex system will be key enablers in facilitating trade in food and agriculture commodities and products across the continent and ensuring that the health of the over 1.3 billion Africans is protected.

Uganda appreciates the great effort and contribution made by Kenya as coordinators of Codex in Africa for the last five years through the outgoing coordinator, Dr. Kimutai Maritim, Director Regulatory Affairs, Kenya Dairy Board. Uganda pledges to build on the momentum generated in the region in order to raise the profile of food safety and Codex on the continent. The incoming coordinator is Mr. Hakim Mufumbiro, Head of Food and Agriculture Standards Division from Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).

CCAFRICA Entebbe, Uganda march 2022

Delegates attending handover meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, March 2022

The CCAFRICA strategic meeting attended by delegates from Cameroon, Gambia, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda updated the work plan to support the implementation of the Codex Strategic Plan; agreed on a plan of action to engage members in the region to effectively participate and contribute to ongoing standards development work in the region, and considered areas of interest under discussion within CAC and the Executive Committee. Additionally, mechanisms to determine regional priorities to support effective implementation of the AfCFTA were agreed as well as proposals to enhance overall participation of members in the region in Codex work including possible options for celebrating World Food Safety Day in 2022 and plans for engaging African Union missions in Geneva on food safety and Codex related issues through established AU structures.

As the new coordinators, Uganda will host the 24th CCAFRICA meeting in Kampala to progress ongoing work in the region among which the draft regional standard for dried meat, draft guidelines for developing harmonized food safety legislation for the region as well as capacity building activities supported by FAO and WHO.


Learn more

FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Africa (CCAFRICA) web pages

About UNBS

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards is a statutory body responsible for developing, promoting and enforcing standards in protection of public health and safety, and the environment against dangerous and sub-standard products.

Main photo

Dr. Kimutai Maritim, Director Regulatory Affairs, Kenya Dairy Board (pictured right) hands over to the incoming coordinator Mr. Hakim Mufumbiro, Head of Food and Agriculture Standards Division from Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).

Text updated 28/3/22 to fully reflect the list of speakers (paragraph six).