African experts from IGCAT pave the way for the 1st African World Region of Gastronomy

Community empowerment, cultural preservation, and sustainable development were just some of the key subjects to be addressed on 25 March 2024, in a 1st meeting of African experts from the IGCAT Global Expert Network. During the meeting, renowned experts from across the African continent, including Yasmine Fofana from Côte d’Ivoire, Joyce Gyebi from Ghana, Robert Ngoun from Cameroon/France, Adhengo Boaz from Kenya, Bilel Aboudi representing Tunisia and North Africa, and Maxwell Masempela from Zambia, introduced themselves and shared insights into their respective areas of expertise and professional activities.

Dr. Diane Dodd, President of IGCAT, delivered a presentation on the World Region of Gastronomy platform and highlighted IGCAT’s ongoing efforts to empower communities and regions worldwide as well as to explore the possibility of establishing the first World Region of Gastronomy in Africa.

Many experts expressed keen interest in proposing a global project to enable IGCAT’s implementation in African countries and regions. Presentations on current issues and struggles underscored the importance of recognizing and empowering African realities, cultures and giving visibility to incredibly diverse gastronomy across the continent.

Participants engaged in lively discussions, sharing regional, national, and continental perspectives on the possible impact of the World Region of Gastronomy Award and the significance of empowering communities and preserving traditions. They emphasized the need to advocate for the involvement of additional experts and stakeholders that could help build an inclusive African platform for IGCAT and respecting language diversity. Discussions also touched upon training and human resources as well as ethical considerations in harvesting practices, animal rights, biodiversity and the importance of adapting contemporary and sustainable measures, without losing the traditional value.

Conclusions and Next Steps

Overall, it was decided to continue developing the initiative through ongoing meetings, increasing visibility on African regions, expanding the Global Expert Network, and establishing a specific section for African experts to collaborate towards shared values promoted by IGCAT.

Additionally, IGCAT expressed its commitment to support individual projects empowering local communities, culture and artistic events. Furthermore, IGCAT pledged to provide (within its means) international support for global presence in key events.

About the World/European Regions of Gastronomy

World/European Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; driving environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; supporting balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlighting and supporting expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practices; and contributing to community health and well-being.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance of protecting and promoting distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguarding our planet, health, wellness and local economies.

IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT founded the World/European Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platforms. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the World Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers Award and the international Food Film Menu.