Call for Abstracts for Poster Presentations

The First Joint Food Safety Conference of the African Continental Association for Food Protection (ACAFP), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Africa Union Commission (AUC) will take place virtually on 10th – 11th November 2021.

The Food Safety Conference will bring together food safety professionals and practitioners from industry, government, international organizations, research, and academia as well as all individuals and organisations interested in protecting the food produced, distributed, and consumed in and outside Africa. The conference will help to create awareness, engagement, and collaborations among different stakeholders and will showcase the common, yet diverse, food safety challenges and solutions in Africa, as well as those between sub-regions and countries.

To this end, the Organizing Committee of the ACAFP/AUC/FAO FOOD SAFETY CONFERENCE announces the call for submission of abstracts of original research and non-research papers for poster presentation. The abstracts must relate to the subthemes of the Conference indicated below:

Conference Theme and Sub-Themes


Africans suffer the highest burden of foodborne diseases worldwide with an estimated 137,000 deaths and over 91 million illnesses annually. This has huge ramifications on Africa’s economy with estimated losses of $16 billion in annual productivity. Therefore, food safety is a big public health and economic concern in Africa. Food safety is a responsibility for all, and it has a great impact on social wellbeing of the people and economic development of Africa. In this context, the ACAFP, FAO, AUC in collaboration with the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) and Partners are co-hosting a Virtual Food Safety Conference.

The main theme of the Conference is “Food Safety in Africa: Past, Current and the Future.” The conference will comprise technical and poster presentations and roundtable discussions on the theme and subthemes listed below.


  1. Food Safety Governance in Africa
  2. Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems in Africa
    Food Safety from Field-to-Bowl in Africa
  3. Food Safety Control Systems in Africa: The Role of Traditional and Emerging Technologies
  4. Academic and Development Partnerships in Food Safety: National, Regional, Continental and International Initiatives

Description of Subthemes

Subtheme 1 Food Safety Governance in Africa

Ensuring food safety and minimizing risks require good governance systems. However, food safety governance is undermined by the existence of outdated and fragmented legislation, multiple jurisdictions, and weaknesses in surveillance, monitoring and enforcement. Africa’s food safety system also faces challenges such as weak institutional capacity (technical, financial, infrastructure and human resources) and weak coordination among various institutions and departments. There is limited knowledge about standards, regulations and recommended good practices among various value chain actors. This aggravates the challenges of food safety management and governance. This subtheme welcomes contributions that highlight the importance of good food safety governance along food value chains; opportunities that exist in the development, adaptation, implementation, harmonization and enforcement of food safety standards and regulations; risk-based approach to developing national food safety standards, regulations, policies and laws; improving enforcement of regulations in the informal markets; food safety issues related regional and international trade; successful models for improving coordination, implementation and enforcement of policies and laws and strengthening stakeholder participation and engagement in development and implementation of food safety standards.

Subtheme 2 The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems in Africa

The world is facing an unprecedented threat from the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (referred to as the COVID-19 virus). This represents an exceptional challenge for both competent authorities and food business operators in maintaining the integrity of the food control systems. In the Africa continent, improving consumer safety during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic is even more critical, given fragility of food control systems in many countries. For example, food safety culture among the personnel working in food establishments is limited hence the chances of foodborne illness to increase can be underestimated. This theme seeks contributions from multi-disciplinary and multi-sectorial experts on the effects of COVID-19 on food safety in Africa, including possible routes of transmission along the supply chain and detection. Contributions should also include country experiences and efforts taken to counteract the COVID-19 impacts during food production, processing, and distribution/retailing in various types of markets including informal markets, challenges of proving safe food to consumers and innovations in food safety during the pandemic. Other relevant topics are changes in consumer food sourcing and consumption patterns in face of the pandemic, changes in capacity building and food safety culture of factory employees and how the pandemic’s restriction measures have affected the food safety monitoring and surveillance in Africa.

Subtheme 3 Food Safety from Field-to-Bowl in Africa

Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent food contamination and foodborne illness. This includes several routines that should be carried out to avoid health hazards. Food may be rendered unsafe for human and animal consumption through biological, chemical, and physical hazards. These hazards gain access to food chain through the food system activities such as food production, processing and transformation, storage, distribution, retailing and consumption. This subtheme invites contributions on risk assessments along African food value chains focusing on the occurrence, control, and detection of microbiological hazards in food; occurrence, detection and management of pesticide residues and heavy metals; occurrence, management, testing, and risk/exposure assessment of mycotoxins in food and agricultural products; and research focusing on Antimicrobial Resistance and One Health issues.

Subtheme 4 Food Safety Control Systems in Africa: The Role of Traditional and Emerging Technologies

Food control systems are indispensable when it comes to the protection of the health and safety of consumers. All countries are striving to establish effective food control systems to assure the safety and quality of their foods both for domestic and international trade, and to ensure that imported foods conform to national food safety requirements. New and emerging technological developments require changing goal posts when dealing with food control. A significant challenge for traditional and emerging technologies in food production is to improve competitiveness by identifying innovations that guarantee the food safety of the products regarding consumer demands and expectations. Consumers are taking a keen interest in the way food is produced, processed, and marketed. Therefore, there is a need to understand the existing traditional and emerging technologies in Africa to improve the safety of food across the continent. This subtheme of the conference calls for contributions addressing the safety aspects of foods obtained using the traditional and emerging technologies covering legislation, detection and control of hazards associated with the raw materials and processing, technological innovations in processing, preservation and packaging for traditional foods making them safer and durable.

Subtheme 5 Academic, Research and Development Partnerships in Food Safety: National, Regional, Continental and International Initiatives

Food safety is a shared responsibility amongst the public sector, private sector, academia, research, and development partners. A lot of partnerships have been established to support a network of food safety actors in Africa. Research has been conducted in several African universities and research institutions in partnership with the private sector, public sector and development partners supporting risk-based assessments to support standardization. This subtheme invites contributions related to the success stories and lessons learned on the challenges and opportunities of academic, research and development collaborations, research-industry linkages, partnerships for human and institutional capacity building, data generation from academia to support food safety educational initiatives and standards development processes in the context of Africa. Topics addressing the different collaborative initiatives in food safety at national, regional, continental, and international levels with impacts on food safety in Africa are invited.

Guidelines for the Submission of Abstracts

Each abstract must be formatted according to the following guidelines.

Abstracts must contain:

A presentation title
Authors names
Authors affiliations
Email addresses for each author
Body text

Please use the abstract template at the bottom of the abstract form for the layout and information required in your submission.

Your abstract should be included at the bottom of the form and send to abstracts@acafp2021.org.za

Important Dates

Activity Deadline
Deadline for the Submission of Abstracts 8th October 2021
Notification of acceptance of Abstracts 15th October 2021
PDF e-Poster due 5th November 2021
Recording of summary / overview of poster due 5th November 2021
Presentation of Posters at the Conference 10th – 11th November 2021