An expert consultative workshop on harmonization of methodology for comprehensive fish trade corridor mapping and analysis in the five regions of Africa took place in Naivasha, Kenya from the 3rd to the 5th October 2018. The workshop was organized by the African Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) with support from the European Union.
The workshop was a follow-up to the EU Funded Fish Trade Project that was implemented from 2013 to 2018 by WorldFish in collaboration with AU-IBAR and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA). One of the important lessons learnt from the implementation of the Fish Trade Project was that there is a prevalence of informal fish trade in Africa along diverse trade corridors that were not within the portfolio of the Project; and therefore most AU member states with high fish production were not captured in the corridor analyses conducted. Also, North Africa was not included in the EU Fish Trade Project.
For a detailed understanding of the extent of intra-regional fish trade on the continent, it is therefore important that a comprehensive mapping of fish trade corridors be conducted in the whole of the continent, taking into account the above lessons. The outcome of this study would be critical to consolidating the achievements made by the Fisheries Governance and Fish Trade Projects in enhancing intra-regional fish trade for food security and poverty reduction on the continent.
The current initiative, which is also been funded by the EU, has therefore been conceived to conduct comprehensive mapping of cross-border fish trade corridors and analyze the characteristics of trade patterns along these corridors. The comprehensive mapping exercise is expected to contribute to knowledge and realistic policy actions towards strengthening intra-regional fish trade on the continent and contribute to the attainment of Malabo Goals on enhancing intra-regional fish trade, poverty alleviation and reducing hunger.
Five regional consultants (west, central, and east, southern and north) have been recruited to conduct the identification and mapping of fish trade corridors, trade patterns and characteristics. The consultants are tasked to identify main characteristics of the identified trade corridors, key aspects of fish trade along the corridor, and make recommendations on how to improve cross-border fish trade along the corridors.
The workshop drew 18 experts that including representatives of AU member states (Cameroon, Kenya, Tunisia, and Togo; (Malawi invited but did not make it due unavoidable circumstance), Regional Economic Communities (Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), Universities, Research Institute, Regional Fisheries Bodies (Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO); Fisheries Committee for West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC)), Regional consultants and experts, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and AU-IBAR.
The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Mohamed Seisay (Senior Fisheries Officer, AU-IBAR) and Dr. Belal Emma (Director of Fisheries, Cameroon).
Objective of the Workshop
The overall objective of the workshop was to develop a harmonized approach and methodology for the compressive mapping and analysis of the informal and formal cross border fish trade corridors of major fish and aquaculture products in the five regions of Africa.
The specific objectives were:
- Review of proposed methodologies and approaches by the recruited consultants in the five regions for the mapping and analysis- based on their concept notes
- Presentation of proposal for harmonized approach and methodology for fish trade corridor analysis and methodology
- Development of an harmonized methodology and approaches
The workshop was officially opened by Dr. Mohamed Seisay, on behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR, Professor Ahmed El-sawalhy.
In his speech, the Director welcomed all participants to the workshop. He emphasized the importance of responsible and equitable Fish Trade and marketing as an essential component of the policy arenas of the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and aquaculture in Africa, whose objective is to harness the benefits of Africa’s fisheries and aquaculture endowments through accelerated trade and marketing. Key strategic actions to realize this objective include development of mechanisms for improved intra-regional trade liberalization as well as improving and aligning trade system between Member States in the same RECs.
In conclusion, the AU-IBAR Director urged participants to explore their expertise to come up with a harmonized methodology for both the mapping exercise and the analysis, and thanked the EU for the continued support to AU-IBAR.
In order to inform the discussions, the following presentations were made:
- Background and Objectives of the meeting by Dr. Mohamed Seisay
- Framework for harmonization of methodologies for mapping and analysis of cross-border fish trade corridor by Prof. Emmanuel Kaunda
- Presentations of proposed methodologies and approaches by Regional consultants
- Eastern Africa – Mrs. Nancy Gitonga
- Northern Africa – Dr. Mohamed Megahed
- Central Africa – Dr. Pierre Meke-Soung
- West Africa – GAFNET (Mr. Isaac Nyameke and Dr. Ruby Asmah)
- Southern Africa- GAFNET (Mr. Isaac Nyameke)
Working Group Sessions
Two working groups were constituted and charged with the following tasks:
- to identify the key elements for harmonization of mapping of fish trade corridors
- to develop harmonized approach and methodology
Secretariat for the Conference of African Ministers in charge of fisheries and aquaculture (CAMFA)
Within the framework of the GEF/World Bank Project "Regional Partnership for African Fisheries Policy Reform (RAFIP)", with specific reference to the current contract with AU-IBAR on ‘Strengthening the Secretariat for CAMFA’ the participants reviewed the institutional mandate and operational situation of the CAMFA Secretariat within the African Fisheries Reform Mechanism (AFRM) and proposed mechanisms for sustainability and effective functioning with regards to discharging its duties in line with revised and realistic terms of reference for the Secretariat.
Working group session, with the members, was also organized for participants to review the current functions of the CAMFA Secretariat and propose mechanisms for effective and sustainable CAMFA Secretariat hosted at AU-IBAR.
The key outcomes of the meeting
- Elements for harmonization of methodologies for cross-border fish trade corridor mapping were identified.
- Harmonized methodology for cross-border fish trade corridor mapping was developed.
- Mechanism for effective and sustainable CAMFA Secretariat was developed.
Recommendations and way forward
Harmonization of Cross-border fish trade corridor mapping
- AU-IBAR should send official letters to all countries ministries of aquaculture and fisheries to facilitate the consultants’ work
- The consultants should adhere to the harmonized methodologies developed by the stakeholders as minimum requirements
- The consultants should submit inception reports to AU-IBAR by latest 10th October 2018
- The consultants should submit their draft reports by latest 5th November 2018
- The 5 regional reports should be consolidated by a consultant
- A validation workshop should be held by early December 2018.
Strengthening the CAMFA Secretariat
- AU-IBAR to refine and share the AFRM structure based on the inputs from the workshops
- AU-IBAR to refine and share the proposed work program and budgets based on inputs from the various groups
Closure of workshop
Closing remarks were given by Dr, Belal Emma who, on behalf of the participants, expressed profound gratitude and appreciation for the inspiring leadership of AU-IBAR in the sector and the foresight to organize such an important workshop which will certainly ensure that the reports from the five regional consultants on the cross-border fish trade corridor mapping can be comparable.
Dr. Mohamed Seisay, on behalf of the AU-IBAR, thanked the participants for their commitment and dedication towards the full achievement of the workshop objectives. He underscored the importance of the workshop in facilitating intra-regional fish trade particular for food security, poverty and above all regional integration.