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Meridian Institute

High Level Roundtable on Food Safety and Aflatoxins | Accra, Ghana

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The African Union’s Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) and the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition held a high-level roundtable in Accra, Ghana, on 12 April 2016. His Excellency John Kufuor, former President of Ghana, chaired the event. A Meridian team comprised of Barbara Stinson and Rex Raimond supported and participated in this event.

The Global Panel and PACA brought together decision-makers from across Africa to:
• Launch the Global Panel’s brief on food safety and introduce its key messages to African leaders;
• Inform and inspire high-level champions to tackle aflatoxins in African countries based on PACA’s research and knowledge about what works best; and
• Stimulate a conversation about global food safety issues, in particular aflatoxins in the African context.

Key messages from the event included: each year almost one in ten people fall ill from eating contaminated food and 420,000 die as a result; aflatoxin contamination is one of the most pervasive food safety challenges in Africa; and together, high level participants will consider policy recommendations for addressing aflatoxin and other critical food safety priorities in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Global Panel also launched its latest policy brief "Assuring Safe Food Systems: Policy Options for a Healthier Food Supply." The roundtable discussion focused on food safety issues in Africa with a particular focus on aflatoxins. Together, roundtable participants discussed the challenges ahead, and identified the most promising pathways to address food safety issues, in particular aflatoxins. Comments and pathways for the future are summarized in the meeting Communique which is available here: http://aflatoxinpartnership.org/uploads/Global%20Panel-PACA%20High%20Level%20Roundtable%20Communique.pdf.

The event received extensive press coverage, including by news outlets in Ghana, France, UK, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, the African Union and the Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD). On social media, @Glo_PAN tweeted about the event, 52 other accounts mentioned the event in their tweets, and 310 people re-tweeted about the event. The press release is available here: http://aflatoxinpartnership.org/uploads/Joint%20Press%20Release%20Global%20Panel.pdf.

The roundtable and launch took place to coincide with the 12th Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program Partnership Platform, also in Accra, Ghana that week.