Summit explores how fish can feed Africa
August 22, 2005
This week policy makers, industry leaders, and development experts are meeting in Abuja, Nigeria to discuss the future of African fisheries and aquaculture. The fisheries sector, consisting of both inland (freshwater) and marine fisheries, is a vital source of food and income to millions of Africans. Fish production, processing and trade provides employment for more than 10 million, while fish exports from Africa are worth US$ 2.7 billion annually. The following is a description of the summit from Fish for All, an initiative seeking to shape public policy on issues from issues as fish and development, fish and nutrition, health, livelihood, environment, gender, water, river basins and coasts, trade and economic growth.
NEPAD – FISH FOR ALL SUMMIT
Le Meridien Abuja, Plot 903 Tafawa Balewa Way, Area 11, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria.
22-25 August 2005
African fisheries and aquaculture are at a turning point. The fish sector makes a vital contribution to the food and nutritional security of 200 million Africans and it provides income for over 10 million engaged in fish production, processing and trade. Moreover, fish has become a leading export commodity for Africa, with an annual export value of US$ 2.7 billion. Yet these benefits are at risk as the exploitation of natural fish stocks is reaching its limit and aquaculture production has not yet fulfilled its potential.
Strategic investments are needed urgently to safeguard the future contribution of Africa’s fish sector to poverty alleviation and regional economic development. Broadly, investment is needed to (i) improve the management of natural fish stocks, (ii) develop aquaculture production, and (iii) enhance fish trade in domestic, regional and global markets. In support of this investment, capacity needs to be strengthened at both the regional and national level for research, technology transfer and policy development. As a first step, stakeholders in the region need to build a common and strategic understanding of the importance of fisheries and aquaculture for Africa’s development and of the challenges being faced by the sector.
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is taking the lead in developing regional priorities for future investments in fisheries and aquaculture as part of its wider agriculture program. Following an invitation from HE President Olusegun Obasanjo, the WorldFish Center and FAO are supporting NEPAD in organising a Technical Symposium and Fish for All Summit for Africa in Abuja, Nigeria from 22-25 August 2005.
The Abuja Summit will highlight how investments in fisheries development will help African countries and their international partners to achieve their commitments to the UN Millennium Development Goals and the WSSD Plan of Implementation. It will support NEPAD’s role as a catalyst and facilitator of Africa’s socio-economic transformation agenda by bringing together key stakeholders from African Union (AU) member states, Regional Economic Communities, civil society, scientific institutions and international organisations.
The objectives of the Summit are:
- To establish a shared understanding among key stakeholders of the current status and likely future trends of African fisheries and aquaculture.
- To identify priorities for the development of fisheries and aquaculture in Africa within the context of the NEPAD programme.
- To agree future directions for research and capacity building in support of these development priorities.
For further information contact the WorldFish Center at: [email protected]
NEPAD Action Plan for the Development of African Fisheries and Aquaculture
DRAFT FOR CONSULTATION 10 JULY 2005
NEPAD recognises the vital contributions by African inland and marine fisheries to food security and income of many millions of Africans and to poverty reduction and economic development in the continent. It further recognises the growing opportunities and emerging successes of aquaculture development
the region. Through a series of regional technical consultations the primary areas for investment to safeguard and further increase these benefits have been identified, together with a first set of priority actions in each. The NEPAD Action Plan for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in Africa describes these investment areas for inland fisheries, coastal and marine fisheries, and aquaculture:
For Inland Fisheries:
- Enhancing productivity through post harvest management
- Improving fisheries governance and resource access, in particular for poor rural dwellers
- Sustaining production through integrated water resource management.
- Supporting transboundary management
- Improving market access, in particular for small-scale producers, processors and traders
- Promoting enterprise development through enabling institutions and policy frameworks
- Strengthening integration of inland fisheries in national and regional policies and actions on food security
For Coastal and Marine Fisheries:
- Preparation and implementation of long-term fisheries management plans and supportive policies for sustained production
- Building capacity to harness the full development benefits of marine and coastal fisheries for African countries
- Promoting and improving fisheries governance and participatory management
- Improving management of the coastal and marine environment
- Strengthening the access of African fisheries to regional and international trade in fish products
- Supporting post-harvest activities through adequate investments and policies
- Promoting enterprise development through enabling institutions and policies
- Strengthening consideration given to coastal and marine fisheries in national and regional policies and actions on food security
- Developing strategies for expansion an intensification
- Supporting priority aquaculture zones
- Encouraging private sector investment
- Applying proven technologies to increase production
- Harnessing the potential of available raw materials for sustainable feed and fertilizer production
- Maintaining the competitive advantage that Africa’s environment provides for aquaculture production
- Harnessing the opportunities provided by expanding domestic markets for fish
- Harnessing the special opportunities of growing urban markets for small and medium enterprise development
- Developing regional trade in aquaculture products
- Harnessing the opportunity of expanding export markets for high-value products to increase investment in African aquaculture production and processing
- Expanding the adoption of integrated small-scale aquaculture as a means of increasing rural productivity and food security
- Exploiting the potential of aquaculture production to contribute to food security programs
If investments are made across these areas it is projected that the fishery production in the region can be stabilized and in some cases expanded. By improving processing and access to regional and global markets through improved policies and public-private partnership investments in quality control capacity, market information systems, and sector management, it is expected that their contributions to socio-economic development can be enhanced and diversified. In the case of aquaculture, substantial growth in sustainable production can be achieved. Underpinning these investments sector-wide strategies for fisheries and aquaculture are needed at national level combined with economic planning approaches and a comprehensive value-chain perspective. Regional capacity for research and development also needs to be strengthened.
It is proposed that implementation of this Action Plan should follow a piloting’ approach with Fast-track Programs to be identified for immediate action. These should focus on areas of strategic regional importance and current growth and will provide a learning process for subsequent expansion of activities. In addition, it is essential that pertinent lessons and experiences from other regions and sector are effectively applied to accelerate the development of African fisheries and aquaculture.
More details about the summit can be found at www.fishforall.org/ffa-summit/africasummit.asp