Harmonization of the management of the food hygiene in West Africa (29/06/2012)
The European Commission's Directorate General Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) jointly with the l'Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA) organized a regional workshop on the harmonization of the management of the food hygiene in West Africa, from 4 to 8 June 2012 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; this being a priority of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) Action Plan 2011-2013,
The objective was two-folds: (1) to enhance common understanding of EU rules as regards official controls and inspections in the fishery sector, and (2) to pursue the implementation of the Reference and Guidelines for harmonization of the management of food hygiene. Inspectors were trained infield on how to apply these Guidelines in the same way across the region. Such harmonization is expected to contribute towards health and consumer protection, and boost intra and inter-regional trade and integration in West Africa through the application of common food safety principles for cross-border movements of agricultural commodities. The experience gained from the programme would also help to monitor the application of regional commitments at national level, with the view to consolidating regional free trade areas in line with international principles and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) framework.
The 5-day workshop was attended by over 60 public and private sector Experts (majority at Director of Services level) from 16 West African countries, including representatives of the UEMOA, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the AU Commission (Rural Economy and Agriculture). The workshop was animated by 6 international experienced Tutors from France, Denmark, Senegal and Ivory Coast.
Opening addresses were given by the Ivoirian Minister for Animal and Fishery Resources, Mr Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, accompanied by the Burkina Faso Minister of Animal Resources Dr Jeremy Tinga Ouedraogo; and on behalf of EU by Mr Yves Gillet, Head of Cooperation (EU Delegation to Ivory Coast).
A follow-up regional workshop is planned in Accra, Ghana in early October 2012.