The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), through its public-private partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Standards Alliance, supported the government of Senegal in reactivating its Food Safety Commission in Dakar, Senegal, on March 28 The Senegalese Ministry of Trade (DCI) hosted the meeting.
Following two Standards Alliance activities focused on consumer protection (the West African Consumer Protection Delegation Visit and the West Africa Consumer Protection Roadshow), DCI expressed interest in reactivating its dormant Food Safety Commission, originally established in 1966 to improve food safety, reliability, and quality in the Senegalese market. Reactivating the Commission creates a vital link between government agencies to harmonize legal and institutional frameworks to protect consumer health, safety, and economic wellbeing related to food products.
More than 50 consumer associations and government agencies attended the reactivation meeting, including the Minister of Commerce and the President of the Senegalese Consumer Association (ASCOSEN). Recognizing the importance of legal and institutional coordination, the government of Senegal has made the Commission a high priority to streamline government activities and safeguard citizens. The Commission will coordinate legal frameworks as well as monitor and control instruments to more efficiently identify hazardous or low quality goods in the Senegalese market. What's more, the Commission plans to reconvene on a monthly basis to ensure consistent communication between agencies and private sector stakeholders related to food safety and consumer protection.
About the Standards Alliance
The Standards Alliance was announced by USAID in November 2012 as a new funding facility designed to provide capacity-building assistance to developing countries, specifically related to implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. The main objectives of the program include increased understanding of WTO TBT principles; implementation of the Code of Good Practice for the Preparation, Adoption and Application of Standards; improved transparency in the development and/or modification of technical regulations; and more robust and transparent engagement with the private sector in standards development and use.
Trade Africa was an initiative between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa that was initiated in 2013 with countries of the East African Community to increase continental and regional trade within Africa, and to expand trade and economic ties among the Unites States, Africa, and other global markets. In 2014, the Trade Africa Initiative expanded to involve new partners, including Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, and Zambia. In support of Trade Africa, the Standards Alliance partnered with Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, and Zambia to improve compliance with the WTO rules on trade facilitation and technical barriers to trade.
For more information on the Standards Alliance and for information on how to get involved in Standards Alliance activities with West Africa, visit the Standards Alliance web page.