East, Central and Southern Africa (ECSA) Regional Program


The East, Central, and Southern African (ECSA) Health Community is a regional inter-governmental organization established in 1974 to foster cooperation in the health sector among its 10 active member states. In 2002 ECSA included food fortification as one of its focus areas and passed a resolution to strengthen food fortification initiatives in the region. USAID is building the capacity of ECSA to design food fortification programs and to enact, enforce, and evaluate food fortification standards.

An A2Z advisor is housed in the ECSA office in Arusha, Tanzania, for coordination of regional and country activities. A2Z is providing assistance at the regional level to:

  • Formulate guidelines on food fortification standards and food control procedures
  • Strengthen the capacity of a regional network of laboratories across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia to analyze the micronutrient content of fortified foods and improve the reliability of laboratory results
  • Develop, produce, and train regional trainers in the use of quality control manuals for fortified foods
  • Support training sessions to design and implement safe and efficacious food fortification programs in Malawi
  • Assist Tanzanian institutions in advocacy and preparation for implementation of food fortification initiatives, including an assessment of the potential and feasibility of flour fortification in industries around Dar-es-Salaam
  • Inform the decision-making of Ministers of Health of ECSA member countries through policy dialogue and technical updates on food fortification at regional nutrition meetings

Several donors support ECSA’s food fortification activities that were developed by USAID and A2Z.