Food Safety is a shared responsibility between consumers, food businesses, farmers, and public agencies, therefore governments cannot act alone to ensure it. The consequences of unsafe food and foodborne illness are caused by unsafe productivity. They affect socioeconomic development, drain the healthcare systems, and hinder economic growth as well as global and regional trade.
The African agri-food systems are described by the following characteristics. There are many hazards present and lack of understanding, as well as lack of evidence on the costs of these Food Safety hazards. Moreover, there are a variety of smallholders, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as foods. Furthermore, the formal, informal, domestic and export markets are growing rapidly and there are physical infrastructure challenges. Lastly, the governance systems are complex, underfunded yet reforming. Nevertheless, the need for Food Safety is becoming more important, and the African Union is working intensely towards harmonisation and improving Food Safety on the continent.