Get-connected market organised at IAFP 2023

17 July 2023

The ICMSF hosted a get-connected market “Connecting IAFP Professionals on Food Safety in Africa Even Better!” on 17 July 2023 at the IAFP 2023 Annual Meeting held in Toronto, Canada from 16 to 19 July 2023.

The organisers were Leon Gorris and Adewale Olusegun Obadina. The Convenors were Leon Gorris and Marcel Zwietering.


The African continent is enormously large and includes 55 countries that are very diverse in social, cultural and economic aspects. For several years, food safety professionals from the African continent have been increasing their links with and presence in the IAFP community. There now is an active IAFP chapter in Africa, the African Continental Association for Food Protection.

For the IAFP Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, this chapter and various PDGs supported an innovative event, referred to as a “Special Session” of 2 hours, that aimed to connect IAFP attendees from Africa with those from the rest of the world on the challenges to Food Safety on the African continent.

The objective of connecting food safety professionals in the IAFP community with an interest in food safety in Africa is to help establish networks and to share ideas and experience that possible will develop further into e.g., collaborations, projects, training and knowledge sharing activities that help further advance food safety in Africa.

The innovative session held in Pittsburgh allowed for a very active, two-way interaction among about 20 professionals from Africa and others from the rest of the world. The meeting room was designed such that tables and boards were made available for those “marketeers” who wished to display their ideas or wishes concerning the needs for or support to advancing food safety in Africa in order to attract the interest of the “browsers” that found their way to the event. A small number of marketeers were chosen to kick-off the session by reflecting on the wide scope of challenges in Africa during elevator-pitch presentations.

There was quite a buzz and a lot of energy among the participants for this first edition of this Special Session. While it was an excellent first edition, the organisers believe a much larger audience of “marketeers” and “browsers” can be attracted in Toronto because there is a good basis of evidence that this new format works and there is ample opportunity to advertise more and earlier to the IAFP community about it.

The proposal for this session is supported by the International Food Protection Issues PDG, the Developing Food Safety Professionals PDG and the Committee on Control of Foodborne Illnesses.


  • Kingsley Bentum, Tuskegee University
  • Robert Buchanan, University of Maryland, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Caroline DeWaal, GAIN
  • Oluwatosin Ijabadeniyi, Durban University of Technology
  • Barbara Kowalcyk, The Ohio State University, Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention, Translational Data Analytics Institute
  • Ryk Lues, Center for Applied Food Security and -Biotechnology (CAFSaB), Central University of Technology, Free State
  • Florence Mutua, International Livestock Research Institute
  • Hung Nguyen-Viet, International Livestock Research Institute
  • Kizito Nishimwe, University of Rwanda, College of Agriculture Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Department of Food Science and Technology

Background information

Each year, the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) hosts an Annual Meeting, providing attendees with information on current and emerging food safety issues, the latest science, innovative solutions to new and recurring problems, and the opportunity to network with thousands of food safety professionals from around the globe. Held in various locations throughout North America, this meeting has grown over the years to become the leading food safety conference worldwide. IAFP 2023 was held in Toronto, Canada.

For more information about the event, visit the meeting website.

In this section

The ICMSF hosted a get-connected market “Connecting IAFP Professionals on Food Safety in Africa Even Better!” on 17 July 2023 at the IAFP 2023 Annual Meeting held in Toronto, Canada from 16 to 19 July 2023.

Participants in active discussion during the ICMSF organised get-connected market.