Africa

Fortification is making tremendous progress in Africa. Countries often fortify wheat and maize flour as well as cooking oil, sugar, and salt as part of their comprehensive nutrition strategy. See this story and photos for a celebration of Africa's progress.

Though maize is the primary cereal consumed in many countries in Africa, less than 30% of the industrially milled maize on the continent is fortified. In 2016, representatives of government, grain milling, and development sectors from 14 countries in Africa met to deliberate the need to scale up maize flour fortification programs. Their work resulted in an Africa Maize Fortification Strategy for 2017-2026.

Nineteen countries in Africa have more than 75 grams of rice per person per day available for human consumption. In 12 of these countries, fortification of rice imports represents an opportunity to improve nutrition. Currently Mali has a voluntary, market based rice fortification program. See more information on the potential for rice fortification in Africa.

As Africa experiences a rising trend in economic growth and emerging common markets, regional bodies are harmonizing fortification standards. This facilitates trade across country borders. This has proven particularly effective in West Africa as multiple partners work together to "Fortify West Africa." See related news in English and French.

African leaders are developing national and regional standards in conjunction with World Health Organization recommendations for wheat and maize flour fortification. The private sector is being engaged to embrace flour fortification with essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, folic acid and other B vitamins.

Smarter Futures is a public-private-civic partnership which provides fortification technical support and training for flour millers, government food control staff, and other stakeholders in Africa. The Smarter Futures partnership includes the Food Fortification Initiative, AkzoNobel, Helen Keller International, the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

Long-term engagement and collaboration among a broad-based coalition of public, private, and civic partners committed to multiple nutritional interventions is essential for Africa to improve public nutrition and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

South Africa and Nigeria were the first two countries in Africa to fortify flour. A situational analysis in Nigeria shows that regulatory monitoring is needed to help ensure that fortification reaches it maximum potential.

Fortification Legislation Status by Country and Grain

Click on any of the column headings to sort the list by Country, Wheat Flour, Maize Flour, or Rice.

Country Wheat Flour Maize Flour Rice
AlgeriaNo Fortification----
AngolaNo Fortification----
BeninMandatory----
BotswanaPlanning----
British Indian Ocean TerritoryTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Burkina FasoMandatory----
BurundiMandatoryMandatoryPlanning
CameroonMandatory----
Cape VerdeMandatory----
Central African RepublicNo Fortification----
ChadNo Fortification----
ComorosNo Fortification----
CongoMandatory----
Cote d'IvoireMandatory----
Democratic Republic of the CongoVoluntary----
DjiboutiMandatory----
EgyptMandatory--Planning
Equatorial GuineaNo Fortification----
EritreaNo Fortification----
EthiopiaPlanning----
GabonNo Fortification----
GambiaVoluntary----
GhanaMandatory----
GuineaMandatory----
Guinea-BissauNo Fortification----
KenyaMandatoryMandatory--
LesothoVoluntaryVoluntary--
LiberiaMandatory----
Libya------
MadagascarNo Fortification----
MalawiMandatoryMandatory--
MaliMandatory----
MauritaniaMandatory----
MauritiusNo Fortification----
MayotteTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
MoroccoMandatory----
MozambiqueMandatoryMandatory--
NamibiaVoluntaryVoluntary--
NigerMandatory----
NigeriaMandatoryMandatory--
ReunionTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
RwandaPlanningPlanning--
Saint HelenaTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Sao Tome and PrincipeNo Fortification----
SenegalMandatory----
SeychellesNo Fortification----
Sierra LeoneMandatory----
SomaliaNo Fortification----
South AfricaMandatoryMandatory--
South Sudan------
SudanNo Fortification----
SwazilandVoluntary----
Tanzania, United Republic ofMandatoryMandatory--
TogoMandatory----
TunisiaNo Fortification----
UgandaMandatoryMandatory--
Western Sahara------
ZambiaNo FortificationPlanning--
ZimbabweMandatoryMandatory--

Africa - Fortification Status

Our definition of legislative status is:

  • Mandatory: Legislation has the effect of mandating fortification of one or more type of wheat flour, maize flour, and/or rice with at least iron or folic acid.
  • Planning: There is written evidence that the government is acting to prepare, draft, and/or move legislation for mandatory fortification.
  • Voluntary: Most countries allow voluntary fortification. We use this category if at least 50% of the industrially-milled wheat or maize flour or rice produced in the country is being fortified through voluntary efforts.
  • Territory: An area under the jurisdiction of another country, according to the 2015 World Almanac. We assume the territory follows the food regulations of the governing body and will not have its own fortification legislation. See a list of territories.
  • No fortification: None of the above.
  • Dashes in the table below indicate that no information is available. Please send information to info@ffinetwork.org

Most fortification legislation mandates address only the most commonly consumed grain in the country. Click on the country name in the table above to see the amount of each grain available in the food supply, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Contact

Events

Training Workshop on Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) for Flour Fortification

15 May 2017

Maize Fortification Strategy Meeting for Africa

03 October 2016

Consumption Monitoring and Nutrition Surveillance

23 September 2016

Training of Trainers: Flour Fortification Program Planning, Implementation, and Monitoring

19 September 2016

FORTIMAS Training

30 May 2016

News

2016 Year in Review
02 April 2017

Feasibility and Potential for Rice Fortification in Africa
16 December 2016

Flour Fortification Resulted in 35,500 Healthier Babies Last Year
15 July 2016

2015 Year in Review
23 March 2016

Systematic Review Yields Recommendations for Flour Fortification Programs
04 October 2015

Regional Resources

Africa Maize Fortification Strategy 2017-2026

Celebration of Africa's efforts in flour fortification

Monitoring of Flour Fortification: The Case of South Africa

FORTIMAS: An approach for tracking population coverage of fortification programs

Fortify Grains to Prevent Neural Tube Defects in Africa: Advocacy Material

Maize flour fortification in Africa is economically feasible and would reduce vitamin and mineral deficiencies

South Africa surveys reveal improvement in iron and vitamin A status of women of reproductive age as well as children

Baking trials show acceptability of iron fortified foods

Smarter Futures partnership provides technical support and training in Africa

Material in French

Fortification recommendations in Portuguese