From 3 – 7 October 2016, Smarter Futures organised a Maize Fortification Strategy Meeting for Africa. Though maize is the primary cereal consumed in many countries in Africa, less than 30% of the industrially milled maize on the continent is fortified. Representatives of government and the grain milling sector from Benin, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and their developmental partners gathered in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. During the meeting they deliberated on the need to strategize on scaling up of maize flour fortification programs in their countries as a vehicle to reducing micronutrient malnutrition, which resulted in an Africa Maize Fortification Strategy.
The process of developing the strategy was consultative, starting with commissioning a scoping study of the existing maize supply chain, followed by a maize stakeholder’s strategy meeting in which the scoping study report was presented and discussed. The country experiences, the scoping study report and the road maps prepared by the country teams participating in the meeting informed the preparation of this strategy. The draft maize strategy was shared with country teams for validation and further comments. The comments of the countries were incorporated into the final strategy document presented here.
The Africa Maize Fortification Strategy is to provide guidance and support to countries in preparing country-specific strategic plans and comprehensive programs for maize flour fortification. The Strategy has been aligned with regulations and guidelines regarding maize fortification of the World Health Organization (WHO); Eastern and Central African Health Secretariat (ECSA), East African Community (EAC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
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