Malawi forum to discuss street vended food in Africa

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Consumers International's Africa Office (CI-ROAF) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation's sub-regional office for Eastern and Southern Africa, two prominent organisations tackling food safety implementation, have teamed up to work on the issue of street vended foods in Africa, particularly in East and Southern Africa.
During a three-day workshop from 15 to 17 June in Lilongwe, Malawi, participants will present situation analyses and review existing instruments in various African countries, according to a CI-ROAF statement issued from the CI-ROAF office Harare, Zimbabwe.
"The participants will also share their experience on how to implement these instruments with the aim of improving the capacity of both vendors and consumers of street vended foods so as to ensure that safer standards are applied," the statement said.
The meeting will discuss issues "with the objective of formulating a consensual plan of action that includes all relevant stakeholders for promoting safer street vended foods and securing the livelihood of the vendors," it added.
Amadou Kanoute, Regional Director of Consumers International said: "As a consumer organisation, our main objective is to ensure that consumers' interests are taken onboard.
"However, the true challenge is balancing safety concerns with the livelihoods of the vendors.
This can be achieved through easily understood and enforced regulatory mechanisms, and through further involvement of local, regional and international institutions in the monitoring of street foods practices and hygiene.
" Georges E.
Codjia, the FAO's Regional Food and Nutrition Officer at the sub-regional Office for East and Southern Africa concurred.
"We have always recognised the importance and potential hazards of foods sold in the street.
As a major contributor to urban food supply and livelihood, street vended foods play a big role in food security matters," Codjia said.
He added: "As such, initiatives aiming at tackling issues around street vended foods should be an integral part of more comprehensive national and international food security strategies.
" Participants to the Lilongwe gathering will come from Benin, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and host Malawi.

13 juin 2005 11:59:00

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