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Standards instrumental in driving regional integration in Africa


The 23rd Session of the FAO/WHO Codex Coordinating Committee for Africa will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya from 2 to 6 September 2019, bringing together governments and experts from all over the continent to discuss food safety and trade issues of importance in Africa.

Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation writing in Kenya’s Daily Nation, said the agriculture sector in Africa is “a major source of income for a majority of its people”, accounting for nearly two thirds of total exports, and that the adoption of Codex Standards exemplifies the “appreciable steps the sector has made towards enhancing market access through strengthening food safety infrastructure”.

“Kenya reaffirms its commitment in the development and promotion of food safety standards; in particular through active participation in Codex Activities”, said Hon. Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary for Trade and Industrialisation. He also looked forward to the enactment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), creating a market of more than 1.2 billion people where the adoption of standards “will be instrumental in driving the momentum for achieving regional integration in Africa”.

“National food security can only be achieved by adhering to Codex Standards”, said Ms Betty C Maina, Principal Secretary in the State Department for Industrialisation. Kenya’s agricultural, livestock and fisheries exports “have a potential to double their value by adopting and implementing Codex Standards”, she said.

Food safety is a shared responsibility

Susan N. Mochache, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health, told the Daily Nation that being active members of Codex “will not only safeguard the safety of food traded within the country but will also enhance trade between Kenya and other countries, regionally and globally”.

Codex Standards underpin efforts to strengthen regulatory, scientific and technological capacities throughout the food chain and the required shift towards more sustainable patterns of food production and consumption, said Kimutai Maritim, FAO/WHO Regional Coordinator for Africa.

Mr Harry Kimtai, Principal Secretary, State Department of Livestock, welcomed delegates to the 23rd session of the CCAFRICA meeting which will discuss a packed agenda including a range of draft standards and the 2020-2025 Codex Strategic Plan. He told the Daily Nation the adoption of Codex Standards were a key component in many regional fora that aim to promote both regional and international trade.

The Codex Contact Point for Kenya sits in the Kenya Bureau of Standards, providing the link between the Codex Secretariat and Kenya in coordinating Codex activities in the country as well as a vital liaison function with the food industry, consumer groups, businesses and government agencies. “Standards are becoming increasingly important in helping us enhance consumer health and safety as well as protecting the environment for future generations”, said Managing Director Lt. Col. (RTD) Bernard Hjiraini.


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Follow the CCAFRICA23 agenda and meeting documents.

Kenya’s Daily Nation