Continental SPS Committee operationalised

The Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Committee met at the Speke Resort, Munyonyo at the margins of the commemoration of the 6th Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security. The meeting was convened to discuss the operationalization of the Committee and finalize and agree on its working Terms of References.

The specific task of the Continental SPS Committee is to promote the mainstreaming of SPS issues (food safety, plant and animal health) into the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) implementation and other agriculture, trade-related, health and environmental initiatives and frameworks.

The Continental SPS Committee Meeting was chaired by Dr. Josue Dione, representing the AUC’s Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, H.E Tumusiime Rhoda Peace.

Dr. Dione opened the meeting and gave a background on the formation of the SPS Committee and alluded to the official political launch of the Committee on 30th of October 2015 during the commemoration of the 6th Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security.

The Committee in its maiden meeting had presentations on Agenda 2063, the Malabo Declaration, the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and aligning SPS issues to the frameworks. The Committee also considered and adopted the Terms of Reference that would guide its work on the continent categorized around three broad areas including but not limited to:Capacity building; Coordination and harmonization of SPS matters and Policy guidance and advocacy.

The meeting included officials from key stakeholder institutions including the Regional Economic Communities (EAC, COMESA and ECCAS), African Development Bank (AfDB), International Organization for Animal Health (OIE), World Health Organization (WHO), African Standards Organization (ARSO), World Fisheries, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), World Food Programme (WFP) and members of the AUC – SPS Cluster.

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