Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Lynn L. Wilson


Africans experience high incidences of foodborne diseases annually leading to poor public health, yet there is limited information on implementation of food laws in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya from the perspectives of public officials with knowledge of and experience with implementing food laws, policies, and regulations to inform policy on food security and safety and help mitigate foodborne diseases and associated trade concerns between countries. The study’s research question involved identifying the perceptions of public officials on the impact of food laws on the food safety delivery systems in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The study applied complex adaptive system theory to interrogate the different elements in relational systems to fill the information gap. In-depth interviews were conducted with 16 participants selected using a purposive sampling method to elicit their views. Data were recorded and transcribed verbatim and then coded, and data analysis was inductive. The research revealed that in the three countries, food safety systems were still developing; food laws and regulations existed but were outdated; and food safety was handled by multiple agencies that led in developing food laws, policies, standards, and regulations. The research showed the pivotal role that standards play in managing product certification, ensuring food quality, enforcing laws and regulations, and creating awareness, thus offering checks and balances to strengthen food safety systems. Challenges include inadequate public awareness on food laws and regulations, as well as limited human and financial resources to implement food safety strategies, enforce laws, and promote food safety. Findings may be used by public officials for positive social change to improve food safety.