Agreement on Cooperation in Regional Fisheries Management and Development signed between ECCAS and COREP
The Secretary General of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), H.E. Mr. Ahmad ALLAM-MI, and the Executive Secretary of the Regional Fisheries Commission of the Gulf of Guinea (COREP). Mr. Emile Essema, concluded the official signing of the Agreement on Technical Cooperation between ECCAS and the COREP, on Thursday 17th September 2015, in the Conference Room of the ECCAS Secretariat in Libreville, the Republic of Gabon.
The signature to this Agreement on Technical Cooperation formalized the relationship between ECCAS and the COREP, with COREP officially now recognized as the specialized recognized Regional Fisheries Body in fisheries and aquaculture matters for the Central African Region. This Agreement accomplished a major resolution by the highest authorities of ECCAS set out in the Decision No. 24 / ECCAS / CCEG / XIII / 07 of XIII th of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Community, held in Brazzaville, Congo, 30 October 2007 which calls for designation COREP as the specialized technical institution of ECCAS in fisheries and aquaculture matters.
It should be recalled that this Agreement on cooperation that formalized institutional collaboration between ECCAS and COREP in regional fisheries management is an initiative of the African Union which aims to bring coherence to respective interventions in the sector by the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Fisheries Organizations (RFOs) on the African continent; a vision that ECCAS shared with and duly embraced by COREP.
To facilitate institutional collaboration and coordination in the fisheries and aquaculture sector at regional level, the "African Platform for Regional Institutions in Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Systems (APRIFAAS)" has been established.
- The 1st Continental Symposium on honey production, bee health and pollination services in Africa was held at the Safir Hotel, Cairo Egypt from 6-8 September, 2015.
- The specific objectives of the Symposium were to provide an opportunity for highlighting recent developments, exchanging knowledge and new ideas between MS representatives of the relevant ministries, CVOs, beekeepers, representatives of national beekeepers associations, scientific research community, legal experts on honeybee production, bee health and pollination services in a stimulating environment.
- The Workshop was attended by 101 participants including Member States, Regional Economic Communities, private sector practitioners, eminent scientist s and researchers, and sector experts. Forty Member States, four RECs and international organizations were represented. Member States represented included Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Maurtania, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There was also representation from Germany. RECs in attendance were COMESA, IGAD, ECCAS, CEBEVIRHA. AU technical agencies included AU-IAPSC and AU-IBAR. There was a strong attendance from the Arab Beekeepers Union and the host country.
- Opening Ceremony: Dr. Simplice Nouala, Chief Animal Production Officer AU-IBAR Introduced the Symposium by welcoming participants and highlighting the need for participants to reflect on the Symposium theme of the Future of the African Honeybee within the context of Africa’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda which set out the aspirations of Africa’s political leadership for the continents agricultural sector development over the next decade. Dr. Nouala also outlined the objectives and structure of the Symposium. This was followed by a Welcome Speech by Prof Ahmed A. El-Sawalhy, Director of the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). The workshop was officially opened by the representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of Egypt, Prof. Abdelmenem El Bana.
- The First Plenary Session was a platform for two keynote addresses that set the scene of the rest of the workshop. The keynote by Dr. Wolfgang Ritter on Bee Diseases: Examining Options for their Management gave an overview of honeybee diseases on the African continent, and an analysis of the impact of diseases of global economic importance on the African honeybee with the observation that while these diseases such as American foul brood have been present in the continent for a long time, they do not impact on African honey bee population in the catastrophic proportions evident in other regions. He emphasized the need for Africa to examine and replace some of the traditional beekeeping practices such as night harvesting that mask diseases, and to develop its own surveillance systems and to base models for response on a deeper understanding of the African honeybee and the management practices on the continent rather than indiscriminate adoption of practices from other regions. The second keynote by Prof. Peter Kofi Kwapong on the Bee Pollination Industry in Africa: Status, Challenges and Options for Enhancement underlined the fact that growth and harnessing of Africa’s honey bees is imperative if Africa is to feed her growing population. The presentation outlined the important roles of the honey bee in crop, livestock and natural ecosystems, and focused on the Global Apiculture Pollinator Initiative which facilitates awareness raising, networking and policy engagement, with projects in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. He emphasized the need for Africa to conduct research and generate data to understand the African honeybee and harness it for pollination, and for integration of the beekeeping and crop sectors, and for policies and incentives to promote pollinator friendly practices.
- Terms of Reference of the Parallel Sessions. Dr. Simplice Nouala provided guidelines for the three parallel sessions: Parallel Session I: Trade and Market Access and Impact of Environmental Stresses. Parallel Session II: Honey Bee Diseases and Capacity, Technology Development and Transfer and lastly Parallel Session III: Beekeeping Industry in Africa, Policy, Institutional Environment & Livelihoods, and Pollination Industry. The aim of the parallel sessions was to create space for delivery of presentations on focused topical areas, engagement and discussion. Group work would focus on capturing areas where there was knowledge and the enablers were known and which could easily be leveraged for the development of the sector; areas where information was lacking, highlighting the gaps; and priority areas for action.
|Communiqué - The 1st Continental Symposium on Honey Production, Bee Health And Pollination Services In Africa, 6-8 September, 2015|
|2015-09-17 English 267.85 KB|
Towards Formulating Common African Position
Globalization, mainly driven by international trade, has made food to be traded internationally in a reasonably short time through complex production and distribution networks. Although international trade in food has to an extent made some food cheaper, consumers have increasingly become more vulnerable to food safety hazards. Countries demand that food produced, marketed and consumed conforms to set standards in order to protect their citizens (consumer protection). However, such standards can become barriers to production and trade for several commodities where production systems and markets differ between countries. Despite this, food safety is important. The Codex Alimentarius Commission, established by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) in 1963 developed harmonized international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice to protect the health of the consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.
Fish trade benefits African countries through generating revenues, creating job opportunities and enhancing food security. The scale and value of these benefits depends on post-harvest handling and value-addition to products. Food safety and quality standards are important aspects that affect the volume and value of fish products accessible to regional and international markets. Coherent continental positions validated by scientific evidences will enable Africa ensure appropriate standards are set to facilitate the continent’s fish and fishery products have access to markets.