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A united African voice for Codex


The 20th session of the FAO/WHO Regional Coordinating Committee for the African region began yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya.

The continent of Africa consists of 54 very diverse countries covering 11.7 million square miles. Trade in region now runs in excess of 50 billion USD a year.

Delegates from the 49 countries that make up the CCAFRICA region are meeting to address the food safety and trade issues most relevant to Africa.

CS Hon Adan MohammedHon Adan Mohammed opens CCAFRICA22

Hon Adan Mohammed, Cabinet Secretary for the Kenyan Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives opened the session and reminded delegates that it was their collective participation in Codex that facilitated trade and led to protection of both consumers and the environment.

The Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Blue Economy, Hon. Willy Bett also addressed delegates and stressed the importance of standards not only for trade but also for food consumed by local people who were often the most vulnerable.

Dr Moses Gichia, Deputy Director of the State Department of Livestock of Kenya highlighted the main food safety issues in the region.

Food safety control systems have been under unprecedented pressure during outbreaks of foodborne illnesses which have led to loss of life and adversely affected trade and the general economy. The 2015 WHO Report on the burden of foodborne diseases was explicit on the need to improve food safety in Africa. Non-typhoidal Salmonellosis and diarrheal diseases have ruthlessly affected children. Aflatoxicosis and malnutrition are also of concern.

Effective participation in Codex meetings and observation of Codex Standards are no longer optional in the current global arena.

The meeting runs until Friday 20th January and full details are available on the meeting webpage.