On 3rd April 2009, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture Mrs Rhoda Peace Tumusiime and EU Commissioner for Health, Mrs Androulla Vassiliou cojointly launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the implementation of the programme "Better Training for Safer Food Africa (BTSF Africa)". Through BTSF-Africa, over the next two years, ? 10 million Euros will be used to fund capacity building activities.
At this occasion a high level conference on the harmonisation of Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) measures was organized in the premises of the AUC and preceded by 4 days of intensive training especially designed for officials of the AUC, Regional Economic Communities and specialized bodies, also held in Addis. This conference, attended by AU Commissioners Tumusiime and Gawanas, the Portuguese minister for Agriculture Mr Jaime Silva, the Libyan Secretary General of the AU People?s Committee for Agriculture and Animal Welfare HE Dr Abubaker Elmansouri, several African ministers, representatives from Member States of the AU and the EU and senior officials and international and standards setting organizations, has allowed a very fruitful debate and exchange of experiences.
It was concluded that the harmonization of SPS frameworks was a crucial objective, not only to increase the potential exports of food, but also to develop the regional trade between countries, which would as a consequence benefit the national sanitary level with knock-on effects on the economic development of each country.