Deadline: 15 July 2023
The 2023 Food Safety Conference of the African Continental Association for Food Protection (ACAFP) will take place in-person in Accra, Ghana from the 7th – 9th November 2023.
Africans suffer the highest burden of foodborne diseases worldwide with an estimated 137,000 deaths and over 91 million illnesses annually. This has huge ramifications on Africa’s economy with estimated losses of $16 billion in annual productivity. Therefore, food safety is a big public health and economic concern in Africa. Food safety is a responsibility for all, and it has a great impact on social wellbeing of the people and economic development of Africa. In this context, the ACAFP in partnership with the Africa Union Commission (AUC), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) are organising the in person Food Safety Conference in Accra, Ghana.
The Food Safety Conference will bring together food safety professionals and practitioners from industry, government, international organizations, research, and academia as well as all individuals and organisations interested in protecting the food produced, distributed, and consumed in and outside Africa. The conference will help to create awareness, engagement, and collaborations among different stakeholders and will showcase the common, yet diverse, food safety challenges and solutions in Africa, as well as those between sub-regions and countries. The conference will comprise keynote, oral and poster presentations and roundtable discussions on the conference theme and subthemes.
To this end, the Organizing Committee of the FOOD SAFETY CONFERENCE announces the call for submission of abstracts of original research and non-research papers for oral and poster presentations. The abstracts must relate to the theme and subthemes of the Conference indicated below:
II. Conference Theme and Sub-Themes
The theme of the Conference is “Towards a safer food supply for Africa.”
1. Innovative capacity-building approaches to food safety in Africa
2. Integration of food safety with food and nutrition security in Africa
3. Implementing one health approach for food safety in Africa
4. Food safety policies and regulations in Africa
5. Technological advances in food safety
III. Description of Subthemes
Subtheme 1: Innovative capacity-building approaches to food safety in Africa
Lack of adequate capacities in Africa is one of the major factors affecting the successful implementation of food safety initiatives on the continent. Food safety capacity building in most cases is focused on formal education leaving out other traditional approaches that can also successfully impart knowledge to value chain actors. This sub-theme is aimed at identifying and addressing innovative capacity building approaches that can be employed to improve the food safety situation in Africa. Within this subtheme, we will welcome discussions that will be focused on both traditional and advanced approaches to both formal and informal capacity building in food safety. Questions that are hoped to be addressed are as follows: (i) How can we reuse “old” approaches in innovative ways to build capacity in food safety in Africa; (ii) How can one balance innovative approaches in capacity building and preserve “old” approaches to address food safety issues in Africa? We hope to identify opportunities and constraints to implementing these innovative approaches and how lessons learned from experience, opportunities, challenges can influence food safety in Africa.
Subtheme 2: Integration of food safety with food and nutrition security in Africa
Food insecurity and malnutrition continue to affect a significant proportion of the African population with children being the most vulnerable. Food safety, nutrition, food security and health are inextricably linked because unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick. It is a basic human right to have access to safe and nutritious food, but poor food safety practices can result in food spoilage and post-harvest losses which compromise the availability of safe and quality food that supports a healthy life. Furthermore, some food safety hazards may interfere with nutrients bioavailability and can thus affect nutritional status of people. Though food safety has an impact on food security and nutrition, limited evidence is available in Africa to support this. Moreover, there has been low collaboration between food safety and nutrition initiatives where they do not often complement each other. This subtheme therefore focuses on presentations that will provide evidence of the link between food safety and nutrition and food security, and why and how food safety and nutrition initiatives including education curriculum and programmes can be made more integrative. Submissions should also address best practices such as joint food safety and nutrition programmes that have addressed these interrelationships as well as integrated food safety and nutrition education and communication modules that have been successfully implemented.
Subtheme 3: Implementing one health approach for food safety in Africa
Access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health. The daily activity of producing, preparing, and consuming food directly links our health with the health of the planet in both direct and indirect ways. A “One Health” approach to food safety—which has been defined as “the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines—working locally, nationally, and globally—to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment”. This approach if implemented for food safety, may hold the promise of harnessing and integrating the expertise and resources from across the spectrum of multiple health domains including the human and veterinary medical, and plant pathology, communities with those of the wildlife and aquatic health and ecology communities. One of the major issues in food safety over the latest decades has been the lack of cross-sectoral collaboration across the food production chain. Major food safety events have been significantly affected by the lack of collaboration between the animal health, the food control, and the human health sector. This subtheme therefore should focus on presentations that will cover food safety issues within the Quadripartite One Health Approach such as animal, environment, plant and human and how these are being affected by climate change.
Subtheme 4: Food safety policies and regulations in Africa
Ensuring food safety and minimizing risks require good governance systems. However, food safety governance is undermined by the existence of outdated and fragmented legislation, multiple jurisdictions, and weaknesses in surveillance, monitoring and enforcement. Africa’s food safety system also faces challenges such as weak institutional capacity (technical, financial, infrastructure and human resources) and weak coordination among various institutions and departments. There is limited knowledge about standards, regulations and recommended good practices among various value chain actors. This aggravates the challenges of food safety management and governance. This subtheme welcomes contributions that highlight the importance of good food safety governance along food value chains; opportunities that exist in the development, adaptation, implementation, harmonization and enforcement of food safety standards and regulations; risk-based approach to developing national food safety standards, regulations, policies and laws; improving enforcement of regulations in the informal markets; food safety issues related regional and international trade; successful models for improving coordination, implementation and enforcement of policies and laws and strengthening stakeholder participation and engagement in development and implementation of food safety standards.
Subtheme 5: Technological advances in food safety
Consumer needs and wants are rapidly evolving, requiring technological advancements to meet market demands while delivering food safety assurance to food products, the food industry and supporting agencies. Technological solutions enhance food safety protocols and make it faster, more accurate, and more efficient to conduct inventory, auditing, training and keep food safe. This subtheme aims at highlighting novel technologies, technological innovations, and improvements in traditional technologies applied in food processing and preservation, food packaging, food safety monitoring, food system implementation and food testing. The application of digital technologies, artificial intelligence, robotics, smartphones apps, GPS, non-thermal innovations, natural antimicrobials, 3D printing, automation, rapid kits, food sensors, etc. to enhance food safety in Africa are welcome. This session encourages discussion around discovery, invention, innovation and diffusion as processes to technological advances. Papers on emerging food safety challenges associated with advanced technologies and novel foods are also of interest to this subtheme
IV. Abstract submission guidelines
• Title: The technical and political perspectives of food safety in Africa: the last three decades
Nmar Koro1*, Adi Wako2, James Alfred3, Odiro Bona3
1Omokara University, Institute of Public Health, P.O.Box 34, Lagos, Nigeria
2FRM Food Company, Ltd., P.O.Box 34, Bishoftu, Ethiopia
3Adimaroga University of Science and Technology, Department of Food Science, P.O. Box 67, Str 456, Accra, Ghana
• Abstract (should contain ideally brief background statements (1-2), methods of the study, results, and conclusions; word count not more than 300)
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• Keywords (provide 3-5 keyords)
• E-mail of corresponding and co-authors (List e-mail addresses)
1. Nmar Koro (n.koro@[email protected]), Corresponding author
2. Adi Wako ([email protected]
3. James Alfred ([email protected])
4. Odiro Bona (o.bona@[email protected])
V. Important Dates
Call for Abstracts 15th May, 2023
Deadline for the Submission of Abstracts 15th July, 2023
Notification of Decision on Abstracts 31st August, 2023
Oral and Poster Presentation at the Conference 7th – 9th November, 2023
To submit your abstract please, click HERE