The workshop on SPS capacity building and sustainable strategy for the national Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee of The Gambia was held from 25th to 28th September 2017 at Ocean Bay Hotel in Banjul, The Gambia.
The objectives of the workshop were:
- Improve the understanding of the participants on the standards setting procedures of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), World Animal Health Organization (OIE) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).
- Improve understanding of participants on the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
Thirty-five participants who are members of the Gambia National Codex Committee (NCC) and National Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee (NSPSC) and a Representative from the FAO country office in The Gambia attended the workshop.
The workshop was opened by the Ms. Nancy A. Niang, Permanent Secretary for Health at the Office of the Vice President. Opening statements was also delivered by Dr. Mphumuzi Sukati, Senior Policy Officer for Economics, Trade and Marketing at AU-IBAR on behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy.
Dr. Mphumuzi Sukati and John Oppong-Otoo, Food Safety Officer at AU-IBAR were the lead trainers. Capacity of the participants was developed on the standard setting processes of the CAC, OIE, and IPPC. Participants were also introduced to the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures.
The need for more effective communication and coordination on SPS issues was a common theme that was shared by all Stakeholders throughout the four-day workshop. Participants also recognized the unique responsibilities of the State institutions working on animal health, food safety and plant health and reinforced the need to work in synergy within the national SPS committee in collaboration with the private sector, the consumers' organizations, the academia and the research institutions.
The workshop concluded with the drafting of a Road Map for participation in the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and Action Plan for implementation of SPS activities. The proposals will be fine-tuned and presented to the various Ministries, Agencies and Departments for inclusion in their budget proposals. The workshop was organized under the auspices of the Standards and Trade Secretariat for Animal Health and Food Safety at AU-IBAR.