African food experts, researchers and stakeholders will meet in Dar es Salaam today to discuss challenges and concerns related to food safety, food borne diseases and chart out strategies on the best ways to improve food safety, nutrition and security for millions of Africans.
The international meeting is part of the commemoration of the Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security 2018, is organized under the main theme “Sustained Food Safety Action for Improved Nutrition and Health of Africans,” bringing together participants from various African countries and key international and national agencies, World Food Programme, UNICEF, World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, African Union Commission, NEPAD and Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA).
The main agenda of the meeting, expected to be graced officially by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Women, is food safety concerns and their associated main outcome, food-borne diseases, according to an official statement issued by the organizing agency, TFDA.
“Food-borne disease imposes large direct and economic burdens worldwide…Africans are not exception to this…” noted TFDA statement.
Experts says food borne disease are a constraint to the development and flourishing of domestic and exports food sectors in African economies, noting that “will be difficult to attain sustainable development goals or to meet the Malabo Declaration unless food borne disease in Africa is brought under control.”
TFDA said participants to the meeting will broadly and critically issues around food safety concerns, saying that “as developments advance towards a free trade zone for the continent, food safety concerns will become of even greater concern.”
There will be presentations of strategic and technical papers on food safety status in Africa, covering the health and economic burden, the riskier foods and people most at risk, current and previous food safety initiatives in the continent.
“Strategic papers will also include issues related to considerations on the nexus between food safety, nutrition and health and proposals on strategic directions towards improved food safety and regulatory frameworks,” noted part of TFDA statement.