The AFSI program works with ECOWAS to strengthen and refine the Network of Food Safety Actors (“Network”), established in 2015, and provides support to their coordination efforts within the region, including annual Network meetings and outreach to improve communication between Member States on food safety concerns. AFSI assists with coordination within the network and with other existing regional bodies. The network of regulators involved in food safety is complex and this coordination seeks to facilitate communication for alignment of standards and implementation.
The private sector and other stakeholders are invaluable partners in the region to identify priority areas to strengthen trade capacity and address food safety barriers to regional trade. The Network’s leadership in setting policy guidelines for food safety and animal and plant health measures will help countries meet commitments to the AfCFTA’s Annex 7 on SPS.
AFSI seeks to provide technical and logistical support to the Network and its Member States through workshops, virtual meetings, technical assistance, online tools, and other communication methods. The COVID pandemic has highlighted the importance of regional coordination, but has also limited the ability to physically bring together members of the network. This project seeks to grow virtual activities to facilitate collaborations that will be expanded when physical meetings are again possible.