December 2012 First joint OIE - EDES training on food safety (Gaborone, Botswana)

 

Gaborone, 14 December 2012 From December 10 – 14th, the OIE office in Gaborone and the EDES programme co-organised the first OIE – EDES Regional training of focal points on animal production food safety, held at the Lansmore Hotel in Gaborone, Botswana. The training was attended by 12 countries with a Delegation of three representatives from each country including : OIE focal points on animal production food safety from a selection of English speaking countries from the SADC and COMESA region, as well as representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture (animal and plant health) and Health (food safety). The EDES training course focused on a system approach for the “Organisation of official controls in the food safety system”. EDES is a European Union funded programme and implemented at the request of the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) Group of States.



Group photograph. Picture © COLEACP (2012)

EDES aims at strengthening food safety, sanitary and phyto-sanitary systems within ACP countries by promoting interactions between public authorities (national level) and food business operators in both plant and animal sectors by taking into account risks and requirements for each sector. EDES assists ACP countries to comply with relevant regulations to export to the European Union market and other international markets, thereby increasing trade and contributing to poverty alleviation. Special attention is given to the specific needs of vulnerable groups (small scale producers, farmers and fishermen) so as to contribute to the goals of poverty reduction while at the same time enhancing access to safe food for domesic and foreign consumers. The project is implemented by the COLEACP (Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee) in collaboration with a consortium of European organisations specializing in Food Safety. The OIE recently signed a partnership agreement with EDES focusing on the synergies between both organizations’ approaches to training.

Overview of the participants and trainers. Picture (c) P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2012

The OIE requested the EDES training on ‘Organisation of Official Controls’ for the OIE focal points on food safety, in line with the value chain approach, commonly referred to as “from farm to fork”. The meeting was attended by 42 participants from 12 countries, i.e. Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe (Ethiopia and South Africa though invited did not make it to the training). The opening session of the training course was attended by the OIE Sub-Regional Representative for Southern Africa, Dr. Neo Mapitse, the Representative from the Botswana Ministry of Health, Dr. Hussein Tarimo, the Representative and Training Manager for EDES COLEACP, Mrs. Hilary Barry and the Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Botswana and SADC, the Hon. Gerard Mc Govern, all of which delivered opening remarks.



Trainer on food safety, Dr. Kenneth Clark. Picture (c) P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2012

Facilitated by plant protection and food safety experts (Dr Antoine Nguz, Mr Kenneth Clarke and Mr Jeremy Cooper), as well as a representative of the OIE International Trade Department in Paris, Dr. Gillian Mylrea, the training covered all relevant topics, from international standards to legislation, from import/export controls to risk based sampling, and from self-assessment systems to monitoring of residues. Lectures by trainers such as Kenneth Clarke (picture) were intertwined with working group session and debates, relevant case studies and exercises with active contributions from participants. Subject to a successful evaluation of the training’s impact and format, this type of joint EDES – OIE training course might be pursued in 2013 for other regions of Africa and the ACP in general