KENYA – Kenya has taken significant steps towards strengthening its food control system, marking the conclusion of a six-month assessment as part of the “Strengthening of Capacities and Governance in Food and Phytosanitary Control” project.

The assessment, funded by the European Union, aligns with the African Union’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Policy Framework for Africa, aiming to foster trade opportunities among African Union Member States.

The project involves technical support and collaboration with Competent Authorities and leading institutions across 11 Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Member Countries.

This initiative focuses on building capabilities, improving governance, and enhancing strategic planning, particularly in the areas of food safety and plant health.

Similar assessments have been successfully conducted in participating countries, with strategic workshops scheduled for the upcoming months. The project aims to facilitate adherence to international standards, promote harmonization, and boost trade within the region.

The assessment in Kenya involved a comprehensive evaluation of the national food control system using the FAO/WHO Food Control System Assessment Tool.

Developed by both United Nations agencies, this tool examines the entire food chain, encompassing production, distribution, retail markets, and consumer aspects.

The assessments provide recommendations for improving the food safety control system and aligning it with international standards, ultimately promoting harmonized trade within the region.

Stakeholders collaboration

A final workshop in Nairobi convened stakeholders, experts, and officials from ministries involved in Kenya’s food control system.

They reviewed the assessment’s findings, agreed on priorities, and developed a strategic action plan for implementation.

High-level officials from various ministries endorsed the recommendations and pledged commitment to implementing the strategic action plan. This marks a significant milestone in enhancing food safety and shaping the future of the country’s food control system.

As assessments continue in other participating countries, the project’s impact extends beyond Kenya.

The Seychelles is the next country slated to conclude its assessment, with the final workshop scheduled for September 12-15.

The FAO/WHO Food Control System Assessment Tool is playing a pivotal role in advancing adherence to international standards, fostering harmonization, and facilitating increased trade in the region.

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