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Communiqué - Consultative Workshop on Establishing Sustainable Electronic Fish Market Information Systems (EFMIS) in Eastern and Central Africa

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© 2018 AU-IBAR. Consultative Workshop on Establishing Sustainable Electronic Fish Market Information Systems (EFMIS) in Eastern and Central Africa; Kigali, Rwanda 3rd - 5th December 2018.© 2018 AU-IBAR. Consultative Workshop on Establishing Sustainable Electronic Fish Market Information Systems (EFMIS) in Eastern and Central Africa; Kigali, Rwanda 3rd - 5th December 2018.Introduction

The workshop, on establishing an Electronic Fish Market Information system (EFMIS) for Eastern and Central Africa, was organized in Kigali, the Capital City of Rwanda, by the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) with support from the European Union (EU). The meeting took place from the 3rd to 5th December 2018.

The workshop was attended by 30 participants, including Representatives of AU member states (Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania,); Representatives of Regional Economic communities (EAC, ECCAS, IGAD); Regional fisheries bodies and organizations (COREP, LFVO, IGAD and CEBEVIRHA); Independent Experts, Representatives of Non-State Actors and Women Organizations; and African Union (AUC and AU-IBAR staff).

Opening session

Speech by the Director, AU-IBAR

While officially opening the workshop on behalf of the AU-IBAR Director, Dr. Mohamed Seisay welcomed all participants to the workshop and gave a brief background and objectives of the workshop.
Dr. Seisay Expressed profound gratitude and appreciation to the Government of Rwanda for the opportunity accorded to African Union to conduct this workshop in the Country.

He reminded the participants that the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa identifieda major policy area on Responsible and Equitable Fish Trade and Marketing, which aimed at harnessing significantly the benefits of Africa’s fisheries and aquaculture endowments through accelerated trade and marketing. The identification of this crucial policy area was partly informed by the observation that though trade plays a major role in the fishing industry as a creator of employment, food supplier, income generator, and contributor to economic growth and development in several African countries, many African Union Member States still face several constraints in improving their fish trade and marketing sector. Some of the constraints include: Poor infrastructure and insufficient facilitation, the introduction of market-related measures such as eco-labelling and related certification process, private standards for environmental and social purposes which are increasingly becoming hindrance to African fish and fish products accessing lucrative markets.

The establishment and/or strengthening of electronic fish market information systems have been identified as a priority and strategic action. Accordingly, AU-IBAR organized a workshop in June 2016 in Zanzibar in which priority actions for strengthening/reactivating fish trade portals were identified.Since the Zanzibar workshop, AU-IBAR has been in consultations with few existing initiatives such as EFMIS-Kenya on how to implement the Zanzibar recommendations. The central focus of discussion has been reactivating the ELMIS-Kenya and increasing the scope to regional dimension. In addition, interest was shown by the Central African region to establish EFMIS in that region. In light of the above, there was a need to obtain first-hand information on the status of existing systems, challenges and lessons, in order to conduct pilot studies with a view of establishing informed functional systems in the two respective regions.

Thus with the support from the AUC,AU-IBAR conducted scoping missions in selected countries (Kenya, Uganda, Gabon and Cameroon) in the two regions aimed at determining realistic, informed, cost effective, Electronic Fish Market Information system. On behalf of the AU-IBAR Director, Prof. Ahmed El-sawalhy, he expressed profound gratitude to the European Union for the support to Fish Trade Development in Africa.

Speech by the Director General, Agriculture and Animal Resources, RWANDA

The opening speech was given by Director General of Animal Resources in the Republic of Rwanda, Dr. Theogene Rutagwenda. The Director General welcomed the participants to Rwanda and expressed appreciation to AU-IBAR for selection of Rwanda as the venue for this important workshop.He informed the participants of the role played by fish and fish products in human nutrition, and emphasized its role in fighting hunger and malnutrition; and in providing employment and incomes to those involved in the value chain.

He, however, noted the challenges to fish marketing, related to the perishability of fish and fish products, a challenge that calls for an extremely effective marketing system. He further emphasized for the need of a regional fish marketing system that collects and aggregates fish production data as well as market prices from fishermen, fish processors, fish traders and other value chain operators like transporters as well as consumers, as a way of providing a platform where all stakeholders would benefit from the information available.He said that an effective fish market information system would therefore promote network among fish traders, value chain operators as well as consumers.

He thanked AU IBAR for having championed this initiative, and also the consultants who carried out the various studies.

Objectives of the workshop

The overall objective of the workshop was to review, validate and develop the requirements for establishing and operationalizing sustainable regional electronic fish market information systems in Eastern and Central Africa.

Specific objectives of the Kigali workshop were to:

  • Review the findings of the experts on the status of EFMIS in Eastern and Central Africa
  • Solicit inputs from participants and use the same to improve the functionalities of the electronic fish marketing information systems.

Workshop expectations

As a result therefore, the expected outputs from the workshop were:

  • To share experience and lessons on the status of current and ongoing initiative on ELMIS
  • To Provide inputs and validate the findings of the Experts’ missions on identification of functionalities for establishing a sustainable Electronic Fish Market Information Systems in Eastern and Central Africa
  • To develop mechanism for operationalizing and a sustainable functioning EFMIS

Workshop facilitation

The workshop was facilitated by Dr, Mohamed Seisay, Senior Fisheries Officer, AU-IBAR; Dr. Belal Emma, Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Cameroon, and Mrs. Susan Imende, Director General of Fisheries Services in Kenya.

The following presentations were made:

Presentations

Presentations of findings of the Expert scoping missions to Kenya, Uganda, Gabon and Cameroon by:

  • Mr. Abdoulaye Doucoure, Network Coordinator, AUC and
  • Mr. Philippe Ouedraogo, IT Expert/Webmaster, AU-IBAR

The two experts presented findings of the assessment missions that identify the functionalities that are needed for establishing a harmonized sustainable regional Electronic Fish Market Information System.

Presentations of proposed, past and existing initiatives on EFMIS: concept, functions, success stories and challenges:

  • IGAD region--FAO/TRCP project;Dr. Eshete Degen, Fisheries Expert, IGAD
  • EFMIS COREP; Mr. Emile Essema, Executive Secretary, COREP
  • EFMIS-Ke- Dr. Christopher Mulanda Aura, Ag. Deputy Director, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI)
  • Likamis Software Limited- Initiative in Uganda - Mr, Isaac Omiat, Managing Director
  • Central Africa Electronic Fish Market Information System (CAFEMIS) – Initiative- Mr. Edmund Njoh—Managing Director, AFGON

Defining the Role of Women in EFMIS

  • Characterization and definition of the role of fishing communities in Central Africa: Role of women Fish traders and processors in the EFMIS- Mrs. Beyene Baliaba, President, Africa Women Network in fish processing and Trade.
  • Characterization and definition of the role of fishing communities in Eastern Africa: Role of women Fish traders and processors in the EFMIS- Mrs. Edithruith Luganga, Secretary General, Africa Women Network in fish processing and Trade.

Regionalizing the EFMIS

  • Lessons leant and experience sharing with EFMIS-Ke– by Dr. Christopher Mulanda Aura

Two working group sessions were conducted (with participants from Eastern and Central Africa constituting two respective working groups). The Terms of Reference of the working group sessions were:

  • Reviewing, refining and validating requirements and functionalities of AUC Experts’findings
  • Definition of the mechanisms for establishing, operationalizing and sustainability of regional EFMIS systems

Outcomes of the meeting

The major outcomes of the meetings are:

  • Experiences and lessons from ongoing and existing initiatives on EFMIS were shared with participants.
  • The potential and entry points for women in EFMIS were identified.
  • The experts’ findings of the requisite functionalities for establishment of sustainable EFMIS were improved and validated by the experts.
  • Mechanism for operationalizing and ensuring sustainability of Regional EFMIS was developed.

Way-forward and Recommendations

  • AU-IBAR/AUC (in consultation with regional and national institutions) to design the system using best existing practices and to be cascaded at regional and national levels.
  • To build capacity of data collectors, system equipment operators and administrators.
  • To produce regular publications /regulations of market information.
  • Create awareness on EFMIS at national and regional levels among relevant stakeholders.

Closing remarks

Closing remarks were made by the Dr. Belal Emma, Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Cameroon; Mrs. Susan Imende, Director General of Fisheries Services in Kenya; Dr Mohamed Seisay, on behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR.

The meeting was officially closed by Director General of Animal Resources in the Republic of Rwanda, Dr. Theogene Rutagwenda as representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in the Republic of Rwanda.

Files:
Atelier de Concertation sur la Mise en Place des Systèmes d'Information Électronique Durables sur les Marchés du Poisson (EFMIS) en Afrique Orientale et Centrale
Date 2018-12-13 Language  French Filesize 701.07 KB