AFRICA – AOAC Africa has appointed Winta Sintayehu, a Senior Programme Officer at the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) of the African Union Commission, as its new President, at the culmination of its 2023 Annual Conference.

Winta, who has a background in food defense/safety and public policy formulation, currently serves on the AOAC-SSA Executive Committee as the President.

She holds a Masters’ Degree in Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense and another in International Relations: Human Security.

As PACA’s Senior Programme Officer, she oversees the organization’s work in West and Central Africa, specifically in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, and Togo as well as the ECOWAS commission.

She coordinates the region’s adoption of national and regional initiatives for controlling aflatoxin and ensuring food safety.

Prior to joining PACA, she co-founded and worked in a non-profit organization in policy and advocacy for education and educational benefits for immigrant families in the State of Nevada, USA.

Winta has also served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the departments of globalization, public policy, and international relations at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Moreover, she has lent her expertise to initiatives like Improving Productivity and Market Success of Ethiopian Farmers (IPMS) for the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, which aimed to create policy recommendations for the effective and efficient distribution of information to farmers in order to increase productivity and market success.

“I‘m honoured to be appointed President of AOAC‘s Africa Section. This comes at a time when the Section has achieved a lot.”

Winta Sintayehu, President, AOAC Africa


She expressed her commitment to contributing to the continued progress of the section in support of the continent.

“I‘m honoured to be appointed President of AOAC‘s Africa Section. This comes at a time when the Section has achieved a lot, but as we have identified at our conference over the past few days, there is much more to be done.

“I‘m relishing the challenge and would like to express my heartfelt thanks; and that of the entire Section, to Dr. Owen Fraser, our Immediate Past President, for guiding us to this point,” she said.

Dr. Owen Fraser, the outgoing president of AOAC Africa, cautioned that there is still much work to be done when summarizing a conference declaration.

“We, Africa’s analytical scientists, conclude that significant work and resourcing is required to fill the very significant physical and human capacity gaps that have been identified,” he said.

He revealed that AOAC is already engaged in partnerships to develop analytical methods specific to African raw materials, which did not previously exist. They are also concluding additional partnerships to build laboratory and analytical staff capacities.

“These are all a good start, but not enough. Our Conference calls for additional support from intergovernmental, bilateral, member state government and private sector partners to support this essential work, with AOAC Africa as the unrivaled and unbiased technical support resource,” said Owen.

Elected by AOAC Africa‘s Board of Directors, Winta will lead the Section for a period of two years.

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