The African Union Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Policy Framework aims to facilitate harmonization of AU Member States’ SPS policy priorities of SPS systems in Africa. The policy framework addresses diverse and intersecting needs with the objective to; establish harmonized science-based SPS systems; strengthen collaboration and trade facilitation; build technical capacity and; increase political support and public and private sector investment in SPS systems.
The Scientific Exchanges Program (SEP) supports USDA’s agricultural research goals of promoting collaborative programs among agricultural professionals of eligible countries, agricultural professionals of the United States, the international agricultural research system, and U.S. entities conducting research. SEP is implemented by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, Global Programs, Fellowship Programs.
Objectives of the Fellowship Focus on AU SPS Regulatory Regimes:
- Support AU-RECs to establish SPS regulatory regimes in the African Continental Free Trade Area based on science and the international standard setting bodies (Codex, International Plant Protection Convention, and World Organization for Animal Health) that allows for the safe cross border trade of agricultural products.
- Create synergies among agricultural policy practitioners in the AU-RECs, and all relevant stakeholders including but not limited to U.S. regulatory agencies and the Office of the United States Trade Representative, to work together in formulating a road map for the implementation of the SPS policy framework.
- Provide leadership and science communication to empower fellows to advocate for sound policy to peers, decision-makers, and the general public.
- Contribute to the strategic goals and objectives of individual fellows, the host institutions, and USDA, providing opportunity for application of research agendas in a “real-world” environment which can have a direct impact on international trade, food security, and economic growth in emerging economies.
- Collaborate with and gain input from relevant stakeholders, such as U.S. regulatory agencies and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
- Develop knowledge of SPS regulations and gaps which currently exist in the AU-RECs with special attention to policy frameworks, implementation capacity, actors and synergy of regimes.
- Food Safety
- Animal Health
- Plant Health
- General Policy/Management
Length of Fellowships:
The fellowship will last 12 weeks. All program proposals must include goals that are achievable within that timeframe. After completing the U.S.-based portion of the fellowship, the mentor will visit the Fellow’s home institution within six months to one year after the U.S. portion of the training.
Candidates will be evaluated, interviewed, and selected based on the following criteria:
- Citizen of a country in the AU.
- Good reading, writing, and speaking skills in English language.
- Master’s degree or higher with at least two years of practical experience (minimum).
- Currently employed by a university, research institution, or other scientific institution in a country in the AU.
- Intention to continue working in a country of the AU for a minimum of two years following the return from the United States.
- Researcher with a clear connection to SPS regulatory regimes, who can adapt lessons learned from the U.S. SPS regulatory model at both national and state levels.
- Proposal directly related to the research topic.
Application deadline is October 10, 2021.