February 11, 2015

11/02/2015: FFI Leadership awards

First published in Milling and Grain, January 2015
A flour miller and a public health nutrition advisor received FFI leadership awards December 2, 2014 during an Africa Network Meeting organised by Smarter Futures. Recipients were Abubakar Said Salim Bakhresa and Magdy Shehata of Egypt.

Abubakar is Managing Director of Bakhresa Grain Milling in Malawi and Mozambique, and he is also Executive Director of Said Salim Bakhresa & Co Ltd based in Tanzania.


Abubakar has been in favor of mandatory flour fortification since the first FFI network event in Africa in Arusha, Tanzania, in 2008. He has extended his advocacy for mandatory flour fortification to other countries where his company operates mills.

As Abubakar could not attend the network meeting, Peter Muni of the Bakhresa staff accepted the award on his behalf. Peter noted that it takes time for fortification to be implemented as some mills may need new equipment, and they must learn how to protect vitamin and mineral premix from the high heat and humidity common in Africa.

Fortified products, however, have been well received by customers and working through the problems is worth the patience required.

"This is our future in terms of the country; this is the future in terms of our employees," Peter said.

Magdy is Nutritional Advisor for the World Food Programme in Egypt. He was involved in every step of the program to fortify balady bread distributed in Egypt’s food subsidy program. He has been an advocate with senior government officials in the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, Ministry of Health, National Nutrition Institute, and with flour millers and UN agencies.

"I was a bit stunned when I learned about my nomination for this award, and I am deeply grateful for the help and support from my colleagues," Magdy said. He stressed the importance of monitoring and evaluating fortification programs.

"Without a strong and efficient monitoring and evaluation system, we will not be able to run our programs successfully," he said.

The monitoring system in Egypt has shown that currently, flour fortification has stalled due to changes in some key personnel and political and social unrest experienced.

“We believe with Dr Shehata there, and his commitment to improving the nutritional status of the people of Egypt, the government will follow through on its commitment to restart the program,” said Scott Montgomery, FFI Director.

“A cornerstone of FFI’s strategy since the onset has been public-private-civic partnerships with all sectors at the table through planning and implementation,” Scott said as he announced the awards.

“This approach ensures all voices are heard and can enable a successful and sustainable public health intervention.”

FFI gives leadership awards to individuals to recognise outstanding personal efforts to accelerate fortification of wheat flour, maize flour, and/or rice. The FFI Executive Management Team serves as the awards selection committee.


Read the magazine HERE.

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