AFRICA – The Codex Trust Fund (CTF) Secretariat in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Coordinating Committee for Africa (CCAFRICA) and the FAO and WHO Regional Offices for Africa conducted a virtual training with a focus on the use of the FAO/WHO Diagnostic Tool for assessing status of National Codex Programmes.

CCAFRICA was established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1972 with a mandate to exercise general coordination in the preparation of standards relating to the region of Africa.

The tool is key to determining strengths and weaknesses at country level and the results help identify areas for capacity development.

In 2019, FAO and WHO jointly developed a comprehensive tool to assist Member states in assessing the effectiveness of national food control systems through a harmonized, objective and consensual basis.

The main objectives of the session were to guide participants through the content and methodology of the FAO/WHO Diagnostic Tool, provide deeper insights on how the tool is intended to be used, sharing lessons learned as well as hear about developments within the FAO/WHO CTF.

The CTF supports countries to build strong, solid and sustainable national capacity to engage in Codex.

 The platform provided an opportunity for countries implementing ongoing CTF projects including Ghana and Senegal to share their experience in using the tool – an essential pre-requisite when applying to the fund – and motivate other countries who are yet to do so.

The training was timely as the next round of applications for CTF opens on 1 September 2021 with a deadline for submission on 17 December 2021.

A total of 54 countries from all the Codex regions and up to 23 Countries from the CCAFRICA region are eligible for support.

A representative of the Codex Secretariat encouraged Member States in the CCFARICA region to fully utilize the available support to enhance capacity of national Codex systems in order to better engage in the international standards setting activities.

The CCAFRICA Coordinator underscored the importance of engaging in the process in order to take advantage of the support provided through the CTF framework that will go a long way in building strong, solid and sustainable national capacity to engage in Codex.

Representatives of the FAO and WHO Regional Offices for Africa echoed the importance of continued capacity development activities in the region and committed to support member countries while preparing applications for the trust fund.

Representatives from CTF Donor Countries further encouraged the CCAFRICA region to continue strengthening national systems in order to influence outcomes at the Codex level.