SOUTH AFRICA – Analytical scientists working throughout the African continent will now be included in AOAC Africa’s purview following considerable consultation with its 300+ members and ultimate approval from AOAC INTERNATIONAL.
Formerly known as the AOAC Sub-Saharan Africa Section and focused, as the name suggested, on scientists in the nations south of the Sahara.
Building trust in analytical results, the AOAC Sub-Saharan Africa Section is a premier regional professional scientific association committed to furthering knowledge and best practices in the analytical sciences throughout the region.
It comprises not only industry veterans, but also young scientists who participate in its annual meetings, ensuring recognition of AOAC, and succession in the future.
From January 2023 on, AOAC Africa will serve individuals working to ensure food safety and compliance with applicable regulations throughout the continent.
As part of its efforts to align and harmonize its analytical methods, the Section offers an online digital platform fostering sharing and communication between laboratories for regulatory compliance assessment in African countries.
Dr. Owen Fraser, President AOAC Africa, noted that the expansion comes at an opportune time when the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is bringing with it regulatory challenges and opportunities that are not restricted to one region but apply to Africa as a whole.
According to him, the organization has been working hard on partnership activities that speak to current gaps – such as the establishment of analytical methods that are specific to African raw materials.
Ultimately, the efforts were rewarded last year when AOAC International elected them Global Section of the Year.
The AOAC INTERNATIONAL Section of the Year Award recognizes the role AOAC Sections play in advancing analytical excellence in the areas of food safety, food integrity, and public health.
AOAC Africa was also recognized for its 2021 survey on laboratories that brought to light the capacity and accreditation gap in the region.
“We now need to build on this by becoming a resource to develop the capacities of all African analytical scientists and the facilities they work in.
“Today‘s announcement gives us the structure to do that, and we are complementing it with a new, professional secretariat and more partnership ambitions that we hope to announce more details of very soon,” he said.
One of AOAC Africa’s first, significant events will be its annual conference, under the theme “Safe and Sustainable Food Systems in Africa: AOAC Africa’s role in meeting the challenges,” which will frame the section’s future agenda against a larger backdrop of Africa’s food systems.
All friends of the analytical science community in Africa are welcome to attend the conference, which will be held in Johannesburg from March 29 to March 31, 2023.
“It‘s becoming increasingly obvious that enhancing analytical capacity in Africa can unlock so many public health, trade, sustainability, and other development opportunities.
”Everyone at AOAC Africa is excited to meet them head-on so that our analytical scientists can play their full part in Africa‘s continuing emergence,” concluded Fraser.