AFSI is supporting the efforts of African Regional Economic Communities (RECs), beginning with the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) in supporting a network of food safety actors in the region. AFSI provides technical support to drive harmonization and convergence of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards based on science and aligned with Codex Alimentarius. This program is building upon and enhancing the partnership between USDA and ECOWAS, as well as other RECs, to advance SPS capacity-building as part of African Member States’ commitments to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) began facilitating trade as of January 1, 2021 and creates the largest free trade block in the world consisting of 54 nations. Implementation of AfCFTA Annex 7 on SPS highlights the pressing need to support regional SPS strengthening activities for African countries to meet their obligations and realize the economic benefits of the agreement.
SPS measures are the foundation for safe trade. They have the critical function of protecting countries from risks to public health, and to animal and plant life and health. Weak capacities to regulate and enforce SPS measures can result in a country’s exclusion from key markets, and poorly applied procedures can result in unnecessary costs, creating inefficiencies in the trading system.
Learn more about the AFSI Food Safety program and Food Safety resources.