Increased Trade, Investment & Food Security in COMESA Region

The COMESA SPS/TBT program works across COMESA and the tripartite. (COMESA, EAC and SADC), to promote a harmonized risk based regulatory environment and strengthened biosecurity systems that enhance food and nutrition security and facilitate agricultural trade, exports and investments. Building on achievements that connected SPS services and infrastructure (including laboratory infrastructure) in COMESA and the tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA), the SPS/TBT initiatives improve compliance in the public and private sectors to unlock trade flows, as well as encourage local and foreign investments in agro-processing and agri-businesses.

Connecting biosecurity systems not only enhances market access but also enables sourcing of raw material across borders and creates incentives for investments. The SPS/TBT initiative provides a framework for (i) connecting biosecurity systems to enable cross border sourcing and investments (ii) harmonizing SPS regulatory frameworks to secure market access, and (iii) mitigating transboundary biosecurity risks for improved food and nutrition security.


Our Activities:

  • Harmonization of Technical Standards
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures

Projects under implementation

  • Development and implementation of risk based SPS/TBT measures that are at a lower cost to traders; project supported by COMESA and the African Development Bank under the Tripartite Capacity Building Programme
  • Breaking Barriers; Facilitating Trade; project supported by COMESA and the Standards and Trade Development Facility of the World Trade Organization (WTO/STDF) (see Annex 1)
  • Mutual Recognition Framework for conformity assessment (C-MRF) to facilitate maize trade (see Annex 2)
  • Integrating biosecurity in horticulture supply chains; project supported by COMESA and the Australia Africa Plant Biosecurity Programme (AAPBP) (see Annex 3)
  • Development of risk based food safety regulations; project supported by COMESA and FAO (Annex 4)
  • Economic analysis to inform investments in SPS and TBT capacity – project supported by COMESA and the WTO/STDF

Useful Documents


  • STDF
  • FAO
  • TMEA
  • CABI
  • WTO
Ms. Martha Byanyima - SPS Expert & Programme Coordinator

our team