Abidjan, Côte d’ Ivoire, May 21, 2019
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping improve food safety standards in West Africa, working with retailers, hoteliers, producers, regulators, and others in the region to implement better systems to reduce cases of foodborne illness, which cause billions of dollars in losses every year in Africa alone.
As part of its support, IFC, the Government of Japan, and Ingenierie Conseil Audit Formation (ICAF) hosted a one-day forum in Abidjan to discuss how international-standard food safety practices can support business growth, create jobs, and better serve consumers in West Africa.
A 2019 report from the Global Food Safety Partnership estimates that food safety issues cause $16.7 billion in losses in Africa every year.
Mossadeck Bally, CEO of hotel chain Azalai Group, which is supported by IFC’s Food Safety Advisory program in Côte d’Ivoire, said, “Client satisfaction is at the heart of our operations and the quality of our cuisine is vital to achieve this objective. Implementing global best food safety standards and practices is critical for Azalai Group as we strengthen our position as a leader in the West African hotel industry”.
Food safety systems and regulations are weak in most African countries, though many businesses are working to improve standards. Unsafe food can create serious health risks for consumers, while hurting the brand and bottom line of food-related companies.
IFC’s Africa Food Safety Advisory Program provides assessments, training, and coaching to help companies comply with international food safety standards, strengthening their competitiveness. IFC’s food safety teams have helped over 150 clients in 30 countries attract $564 million in investments and generate more than $478 million in new sales.
Olivier Buyoya, IFC Country Manager for Côte d’Ivoire, said, “Complying with international food safety standards helps West African companies in the agribusiness and tourism sectors attract investment and demonstrate their commitment to their customers. IFC is looking to help more African companies integrate food safety in their growth strategy.”
The Abidjan event welcomed participants from all parts of the food industry, including from agribusiness companies, retailers, hotels, and farmer organizations.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information,