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Food Chem. 2013 Oct 1;140(3):513-9. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.01.082. Epub 2013 Feb 9.

Capacity building in food composition for Africa.

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Institute of Food, Nutrition and Wellbeing, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.


Capacity building in food and nutrition involves more than formal training and individual development. Such a process is long term and continues, requiring lasting mentorship, coaching and leadership development, including individual commitment to continued self-development. It expands to include the development of knowledge and skills of an individual within his/her organizational or institutional arrangements, and requires buy-in and support from his/her institution or organization, as well as other funding bodies involved in agriculture and health. It needs to be supported by government and be part of the regional and international agenda for agriculture and health. Under the auspices of International Network of Food Data Systems (INFOODS), an African Network of Food Data Systems (AFROFOODS) was established in September 1994, and a number of training courses, educational and scientific publications, posters, presentations and visits were hosted, organized and delivered with the aim to build enthusiasm, long term commitment and capacity in food composition within the AFROFOODS region. Formal training and human resource development were the major focus to take food composition forward in Africa. Significant progress was made in food composition activities, but constraints including lack of organizational and institutional commitment and financial support are straining the pace of progress.

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