Regional Food Safety Efforts in Africa

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Funding Opportunity ID: 327426
Opportunity Number: USDA-FAS-10960-0700-10-20-0019
Opportunity Title: Regional Food Safety Efforts in Africa
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Other
Category of Funding Activity: Agriculture
Category Explanation:
CFDA Number(s): 10.960
Eligible Applicants: Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Private institutions of higher education
Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility: Proposals may be received from U.S. State Cooperative Institutions or other colleges and universities in the United States.
Agency Code: USDA-FAS-GP-10960
Agency Name: Department of Agriculture
Technical Agricultural Assistance 10.960
Posted Date: Jun 02, 2020
Close Date: Jul 01, 2020
Last Updated Date: Jun 02, 2020
Award Ceiling: $500,000
Award Floor: $1
Estimated Total Program Funding: $1,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 2
Description: Program OverviewThis Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) supports the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Strategic Plan by engaging with international institutions and member countries to strengthen the rules-based trading system. Specifically, this NOFO will support the efforts of African Regional Economic Communities (RECs), beginning with the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) in establishing or supporting a network of food safety actors in the region, as well as provide technical support to drive harmonization and convergence of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards based on science and aligned with Codex Alimentarius. This project will build upon and enhance the partnership between USDA and ECOWAS, as well as other RECs, to advance SPS capacity building as part of African Member States’ commitments to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).While there is demonstrated political will to expand intra-regional agricultural trade, African countries face several challenges to achieve this objective. Significant progress is being made towards achieving regional integration which has contributed to reductions in tariffs. However, the application of non-tariff measures (NTMs), such as SPS measures remain an impediment to effective trade and to meeting ratified countries’ obligation under the World Trade Organization (WTO) SPS agreement. These SPS measures are the foundation for safe trade, as they have the critical function of protecting countries from risks to public health, and to animal and plant life and health. Weak capacities to enforce SPS measures can result in a country’s exclusion from key markets, and poorly applied procedures can result in unnecessary costs, creating inefficiencies in the trading system. Reducing these bottlenecks is an important aspect of trade facilitation.The AfCFTA will go into effect later this year to create the largest free trade block in the world consisting of 54 nations. Implementation of Annex 7 on SPS of the AfCFTA highlights the pressing need to support regional SPS strengthening activities for African countries to meet their obligations and realize the economic benefits of the agreement. The proposal is to assist Regional Economic Communities and their Members States to strengthen common national legislation and regulations that are based on science and international standards to facilitate the trade in agricultural products.ObjectivesUSDA/FAS is seeking partners with whom to collaborate towards the support of RECs in the implementation of concrete capacity building projects and programs, at both regional and national levels, and encouraging Member States to: adopt international standards, strengthen collaboration, harmonize SPS standards, and help the continent achieve trade and development goals under the Malabo Declaration and the AfCFTA. The project should define alignment with the World Trade Organization SPS Agreement and the International Standard Setting Bodies (ISSB): Codex, OIE and IPPC.In addition, the project should seek to complement and strengthen linkages to other regional efforts to advance food safety, such as laboratory capacity building, integrated data collection platforms and high-level dialogue. Food testing laboratories are a critical element of the food safety system in helping both government and industry verify food contaminants. Further, the lack of analytical capacity prevents health authorities from making informed policy decisions based on risk. Finally, marshaling of political will require strong communication and advocacy at all levels from national to continental with decision-makers to ensure that food safety modernization linkages with trade and development are clear and investments in both human and financial resources are prioritized.• Phase One of the program will focus on working with ECOWAS to strengthen and refine the Network of Food Safety Actors (“Network”), established in 2015, and provide support to their coordination efforts within the region, including annual Network meetings and outreach to improve communication between Member States on food safety concerns. Possible coordination and participation with other existing regional bodies, such as the West Africa Pesticide Regional Committee (WAPRC), to ensure the work done within the Network is being informed into the relevant work being done by the WAPRC.• Desk review and consultations with agribusiness in the region to identify priority areas to strengthen private sector trade capacity in the region and understand the major food safety barriers to regional trade. Survey results will be published in a report.• Based on feedback from stakeholders, including ECOWAS, the Network of Food Safety Actors and results from the agribusiness survey, in coordination with USDA, provide technical support to Member States through workshops; virtual meetings; technical assistance; online tools; and other communication methods. Topics could include risk-based measures for food safety.• A set of policy guidelines will be developed for food safety and animal and plant health measures in coordination with the network and USDA in order to support country commitments to the AfCFTA’s Annex 7 on SPS.• Phase two would take an analysis of best practices and lessons learned of current practices of integrated SPS systems, including from the Network, with a view to working with other RECs to support their current efforts, based on their identified needs, to build regional networks and SPS capacity for implementation of the AfCFTA.
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