Assessing the extent and use of risk analysis methodologies in Africa, using data derived from the Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) pathway

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 6
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    African countries that wish to export are increasingly faced with import risk assessments from importing countries concerned about the sources of their imported goods. Other risk analysis methodologies and approaches are also employed, which focus on animal and human health within countries and communities. Based on an analysis of evaluations conducted by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), using the Performance of Veterinary Services Tool, the authors attempt to define current practice in Africa and degrees of compliance with the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (‘SPS Agreement’) and OIE standards. To assist in this task, the authors also make use of a review of selected risk assessment reports. Results point to a lack of technical capacity and capability to conduct risk assessments in compliance with OIE standards (except in the case of three countries), ranging from an outright absence of any form of (documented) risk assessment and consecutive risk management decisions (level of advancement 1) to shortcomings in one or several aspects of the risk assessment process. This is confirmed by a number of case studies, half of which have been produced by international consultants. The major recommendations of this paper are i) to strengthen the human resources pool for conducting risk assessments and ii) to establish dedicated risk assessment units, with clear terms of reference, job descriptions and policies, procedures and protocols.