Africa debates common approach on phytosanitary standards ahead of CPM 17
By Chipiliro Kansilanga in Douala, Cameroon
The 17th session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-17) preparatory meeting has commenced in Douala, Cameroon, providing an opportunity for contracting parties to deliberate on plant health issues in Africa.
The contracting parties to the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) are deliberating and exchanging views ahead of the CPM17 scheduled in March, in ensuring that the African region speaks with one accord on common matters of interest.
Participants are also examining both the existing and new phytosanitary standards, championed by IPPC, in ensuring that Africa is not only working towards ensuring crop productivity but doing so within the legal, political and scientific frameworks.
The Pre-CPM hybrid meeting has been organized by African Union Inter-African Phytosanitary Council (AU-IAPSC) under the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Blue Economy (DARBE) of the African Union Commission.
DARBE’s Head of Agriculture and Food Security Dr Simplice Nouala dared the Contracting Parties to employ a critical approach to challenges facing Africa, saying they are not only common but demand a joint approach and consolidation of efforts from all relevant stakeholders.
“The plant health challenges Africa faces are not unique, therefore greater collaboration and partnership in seeking solutions is what will move this continent forward,” he said.
In her remarks, AU-IAPSC Interim Coordinator Dr Sandrine Bayendi said apart from reviewing the phytosanitary standards, the Pre-CPM provides a platform for discussions on harmonization of regional approaches as a way of promoting effective participation.
The meeting has also attracted Regional Economic Communities (REC’s) such as Southern African Development Community (SADC) and East African Community (EAC) who represent interests of their respective regions.
Contracting parties present include Burundi, Kenya, Congo Brazaville, Botswana, Gabon, South Africa, Malawi, Gambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Namibia, DR Congo, Chad, Somalia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Nigeria and the host Cameroon.