In June 2014, the Summit of African Heads of States and Governments held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, endorsed the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture, as a blue print for African fisheries and Aquaculture development. The strategy was formulated in response to the recommendations of the first Conference of African Ministers of Fisheries and Aquaculture (CAMFA I) to promote policy coherence.
As a step toward the implementation of this policy document, the African Union Commission (DREA and AU-IBAR), in collaboration with the NEPAD Agency, is planning an expert consultative meeting with the overall objective of formulation of criteria and indicators to facilitate the alignment of the policy document with national and regional policies. The workshop will be held on 20-22 May 2015 in Kampala, Uganda.
The African fisheries policy framework and reform strategy was conceived out of the need to address the numerous challenges that continue to deny Africans the potential benefits associated with the exploitation of fisheries and aquaculture resources. These challenges are limiting the full sustainable contribution of the fisheries and aquaculture sector to food security, livelihoods and economic growth. Some of the reasons for the poor performance of the sector in African countries have been attributed to lack of policy coherence and coordination in the sector, increasing levels of IUU fishing, weak intra-regional and international trade, weak capacity for aquaculture development and poorly developed artisanal fisheries sector.
The overall purpose of the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture is to facilitate transformation of Africa's fisheries and aquaculture for food, livelihoods and wealth and provides appropriate guidance on how to implement reforms for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture development. The policy document mainly aimed at:
- facilitating AU Member States, RECs and RFBs to develop realistic fisheries and aquaculture policies by suggesting standards and best practices to the sector's benefits to AU member states, in terms of food security, employment and income;
- facilitating regional collaboration and integration in shared fisheries and aquaculture resources management;
The overall objective of the consultative workshop is to identify and formulate relevant criteria for aligning the national and regional policies to the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa. The specific objectives are:
- Formulation of appropriate strategies for identification of gaps and reform areas in national and regional fisheries policies that may be addressed by relevant provisions in the policy framework and reform strategy for fisheries and aquaculture in Africa.
- Development of plan of actions for aligning national and regional policies with the policy framework and reform strategy for fisheries and aquaculture in Africa.
- To identify appropriate entry points for revisions of national and regional policies.
The workshop will be expected to achieve the following results:
- Indicators and criteria identified and packaged for alignment of national and regional fisheries and aquaculture policies with the PFRS
- Produce a comprehensive report on the analyses of national and regional policies, including gaps, reform areas and plan of action for alignment of national and regional fisheries policies and strategies with the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa;
- Propose entry points for support to revision of national and regional policies
This workshop will involve examination of the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy in order to tease out relevant areas of the document to form the criteria for alignment of national and regional fisheries policies to the pan African strategies and develop action plans for their implementation at national level.
Participants to this workshop shall mainly include members of the following AFRM (African Fisheries Reform Mechanism) Working Groups:
- Governance, policy and institutions
- Monitoring, Control and Surveillance
- Small-scale fisheries development
- Aquaculture development
- Trade and market development