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Communiqué - Establishment of the Southern African Regional Platform for Non-State Actors in Fisheries and Aquaculture

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© 2018 AU-IBAR. Establishment of the Southern African Regional Platform for Non-State Actors in Fisheries and Aquaculture ;  17th to 19th April, 2018 Nairobi, Kenya.© 2018 AU-IBAR. Establishment of the Southern African Regional Platform for Non-State Actors in Fisheries and Aquaculture ; 17th to 19th April, 2018 Nairobi, Kenya.Introduction

A consultative workshop for the establishment of a Regional Platform for Non-State Actors involved in the fisheries and aquaculture sector within Southern Africa, was organized by African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in collaboration with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency (NPCA) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Nairobi, the Republic of Kenya from the 17th to 19th April, 2018.

The main objective of the workshop was to establish and formalize a regional platform for non-state actors actively involved in fisheries and aquaculture in the SADC region that will provide strategic leadership and coordination of all national and sub-national level NSAs at regional level.

Specifically the workshop sought to:

  • Inform participants about African Union (AU) fisheries programmes and processes including small scale fisheries and aquaculture action plans, as well as of the opportunity for NSAs to participate in the implementation process of the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (PFRS).
  • Enable the respective NSAs to convene and share information and experiences of their organisations and the fisheries and aquaculture activities they are involved in.
  • Formally establish a fisheries and aquaculture NSA platform for the SADC region.
  • Develop and endorse Terms of Reference (Statutes), Rules of Procedure and an inaugural action plan for a Regional Platform of NSAs in the fisheries and aquaculture Sector within the SADC region.
  • Elect and approve inaugural office bearers of the regional platform.

The workshop was attended by 22 participants from 14 SADC Member States namely: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Namibia and Swaziland were unable to participate in this meeting. The sitting Secretary General of the Eastern Africa NSA Platform for Fisheries and Aquaculture (EARFISH) participated in the meeting to share EARFISH’s experiences. Representatives from FAO, the SADC Secretariat and AU-IBAR were present at the meeting.

During the opening ceremony, Dr. Simplice Nouala, the Head of the Animal Production Unit of AU-IBAR who welcomed the participants. In his remarks he gave an overview of the relevance and need to establish NSAs platforms for the effective implementation of the continental fisheries and aquaculture sectoral reforms.

The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Baboucarr Jaw, the Head of the Animal Health Unit, on behalf of the Director AU-IBAR. Dr. Jaw appreciated participant’s consideration and acceptance to proceed with the workshop outside SADC’s geographic sphere due to unforeseen circumstances at AU-IBAR. He reiterated the important role of NSAs for the implementation and achievement of the Policy Reform Framework and Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (PFRS) in light of the challenges facing the industry and the need to secure fisher-folks’ livelihoods as well as enhance the sectors contribution to food and nutrition security and socio-economic development that depended on their effective participation. He indicated how such a platform would be instrumental for building linkages among NSAs thus effectively strengthening their ‘voice’ formulation and execution of continental, regional and national sectoral and developmental agenda. With these remarks, Dr. Jaw officially opened the workshop on behalf of the Director AU-IBAR.

The Agenda was discussed and adopted by the meeting after minor changes.

The Workshop

The workshop comprised the following:

  • Day 1 Presentations by representative NSAs and participating agencies.
  • Day 2 Working session to develop the Statutes of the Platform.
  • Day 3 Working session to develop the Rules of Procedure, Action Plan and inaugural executive committee of the platform.

Presentations

The following presentations were given:

  • A background, objectives and expected outcome of the meeting by AU-IBAR
  • An overview of the Fisheries and Aquaculture programme at SADC presented by Ms. Panduleni Elago, SADC Secretariat, Botswana.
    Sharing of Experiences by Member States
  • An Overview of the Network for Integral Development in the Congo’s (REDIC) Fisheries and Aquaculture Activities, presented by Patricia Maisha, DRC.
  • The Aquaculture Development Association of Zambia (ADAZ), presented by Mulolwa Simposya, Zambia
  • The South African United Fishing Front, presented by Pedro Garcia, South Africa.
  • Presentation on Fisheries NSAs in Comoros Islands, presented by Ismail Mahamoudou, Comoros.
  • The Mauritius Fishermen Cooperative Federation Ltd, presented by Fortuno L. A. Patrick, Mauritius
  • The Angolan fisheries and aquaculture in general and the Artisanal Fishing Cooperative (Âncora Dourada), in particular, presentation by Campos J. Francisco, Angola.
  • The Status of Community Fisheries in Lesotho, presented by Mohau Moshoeshoe, Lesotho.
  • The Environmental Management and Economic Development Organization (EMEDO), presented by Editrudith Lukanga, Tanzania.
  • The Zimbabwe Fish Producers Association (ZFPA), presented by Garikai Munatsirei, Zimbabwe.
  • The Impact of NSA’s on the Fisheries and Aquacultures Sector of Seychelles, presented by Albert N. Napier, Seychelles.
  • The Okavango Fishermen’s Association, presented by Isaac Batsile, Botswana
  • The Fishers Association of Malawi, presented by Legrand Mkandawire, Malawi.
  • The Mozambican Association of Industrial Shrimp Fisheries (AMAPIC) and The Aquaculture Sector in Mozambique: Possibilities for Investment Mozambique, presented by Muzila Nhatsave, Mozambique.
  • An Overview of Participation of NSAs in Fisheries and Aquaculture in Madagascar, presented by Mahatante T. Paubert, Madagascar.

Sharing of Experiences by Regional Entities

  • East Africa Platform for NSAs in Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector (EARFISH): One Year of EARFISH Existence: Experiences, Challenges and Lessons Learnt, presented by Seromos Kamuturaki, Uganda.
  • Developing Capacity for Effective Participation in Policy and Decision-Making: Supporting Small-Scale Fisheries Organisations, presented by Lena Westlund, FAO.

Two videos were also presented on the Small Scale Fisheries (SSF) Guidelines namely:

  • The Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines
  • SSF Guidelines – Gender Equity and Equality

Working Sessions

The working sessions were all conducted in plenary. The sessions deliberated on:

  • Development of the Statutes of the platform during which it was agreed that the:
    • Southern Africa Regional NSA platform in fisheries and aquaculture shall henceforth be known as Southern African Regional Non-State Actors Platform in Fisheries and Aquaculture whose acronyms shall be SANSAFA in English and PRANESPA in French.
    • The governance of SANSAFA shall comprise:
      • The Regional coordinating Council (RCC) which shall serve as SANSAFA’s general assembly and shall constituted of a representative from the respective National NSA networks involved in fisheries and aquaculture of each SADC Member State.
      • An Executive Coordination Committee (ECC) constituted by 5 elected RCC members for the following positions Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Treasurer.
      • The Secretariat.
  • Development of the Rules of the Procedure that stipulated the modalities for operating SANSAFA.
  • Development of a 3 year action plan that provided a timeline for implementing identified priority actions to operationalize SANSAFA within the SADC region and its respective member states.

The Inauguration of SANSAFA

It was agreed that the participants to this workshop, be considered the founding members of SANSAFA and constituent members of SANSAFA’s first RCC. Upon this basis, the SANSAFA Statutes and Rules of Procedure were adopted and SANSAFA’s first ECC elected.

The following were the elected office bearers of SANSAFA’s inaugural ECC:

NameCountryPosition
Mr. Garikai MunastsireiZimbabweChairperson
Ms. Patricia MaishaDRCVice chairperson
Dr. Paubert T. MahatanteMadagascarSecretary General
Mr. Muzila NhatsaveMozambiqueDeputy Secretary General
Mr. Legrand MkandawireMalawiTreasurer

On behalf of the Executive Secretary, SADC-Secretariat Ms. Panduleni Elago, congratulated SANSAFA’s newly elected ECC office bearers. She urged them to remain committed to SANSAFA’S objectives and diligently serve the constituent members it represents. She reiterated SADCs support highlighting the fact that the role of NSAs in fisheries management and aquaculture development was already enshrined in the SADC Fisheries Protocol. She also indicated the need for SANSAFA to work hand in hand with the national governments to ensure its efforts and outcomes were additionally anchored into national plans for sustainability and impact.

In his remarks, the newly elected Chairperson, Mr. Garikai Munastsirei expressed his gratitude at the show of confidence given by the founding RCC to newly elected office bearers of the inaugural ECC. On behalf of the ECC, the Chairperson pledged the commitment of the new ECC to executing its duties as described in the SANSAFAs Statutes and Rules of Procedure. He pledged participatory and democratic approach to the implementation of the platforms actions at which point he urged the RCC to the much needed guidance and support the ECC would need to successfully play its role.

Outcomes of the Meeting

The key outcomes of the meeting were:

  • The establishment of SANSAFA as a regional platform of representative national NSAs of the SADC whose goals were to coordinate from the grassroots, the NSA voice and contribute to the national and regional fisheries and aquaculture development agenda. In this regard, among its key overall goals were ensuring the effective implementation of the SADC Fisheries Protocol and programme activities, PFRS, SSF guidelines and other programmatic activities of relevance, especially grassroots level.
  • The adoption of SANSAFA’s Statutes and Rules of Procedure.
  • The setting up and operationalization of the inaugural RCC and ECC.
  • The development and adoption of SANSAFA’s three year action plan. The actions within the plan focused at ensuring SANSAFA became a legally recognized regional NSAs within the SADC region and raise public awareness on its existence and purpose.
  • Sharing experiences and networking among the delegate national NSA’s of SADC and with EARFISH.

Recommendations

SANSAFA

  • a. Ensure that at all other SANSAFA meetings there will be translation in all the three official languages of the SADC, notably French, Portuguese and English.
  • b. SANSAFA should be truly representative of the majority of Non-State Actors, both men and women, within the respective member states. Therefore, the members of the founding RCC (i.e. the NSAs who represented their countries at this meeting) tasked themselves with the responsibility of:
    • Facilitating the formation of national NSAs within their respective member states in liaison with the respective national line ministries, the respective NSAs within their countries and other stakeholders.
    • In liaison with the respective line ministries, continue to update fishery and aquaculture NSA inventory. In this regard, SANSAFA shall maintain the regional NSA inventory and share this with the SADC secretariat and AU-IBAR.

SADC-Secretariat

Concern was raised by participants at the aquaculture NSA’s on the negative impact of the importation of farmed tilapia products from China into the region on the viability, growth and sustainability of aquaculture development in the region. It was noted that the price of imported frozen farmed tilapia from China was well below the farm gate cost-price of tilapia farmed within the SADC region as well as of international benchmark prices for farmed tilapia from other parts of the world. The participants believe Asian Tilapia especially from China is being unfairly traded in the region and governments should find ways to protect our nascent aquaculture industry that is so key for food security in the future. The growers brought to the attention of the meeting, that in light of the fact that China imports a great bulk of the key ingredients it uses for tilapia fish feed (notably maize, soya and fish meal from Namibia) from Africa, North and South America at prevailing global commodity prices (and bearing in mind the effect of this on real fish feed prices within China and elsewhere) – it was apparent that there was unfair trade, and SADC fish farmers were deliberately being undercut . As a result, tilapia farming within the affected countries was increasingly becoming less competitive for both smallholder and large scale producers. The smallholders were most affected given their limitations in achieving the necessary volumes to break-even at the price of imported Chinese fish.

It was reiterated that if this state of affairs was left unchecked, it undermined SADCs aquaculture development strategy and regional development goals. The SADC Secretariat was tasked by SANSAFA to bring this to the attention of the SADC Fisheries Technical Committee for further deliberation and action. That hand in hand with this, there also be a relaxation of regional permits and bureaucracy and a removal of any trade taxes / duties on fish farmed in the SADC region.

AU-IBAR

Attention was brought to AU-IBAR of the fact that the volume of suspected subsidized imported Chinese farmed tilapia was increasing into Africa and the challenges thereof as discussed above were increasingly becoming common across Africa. Additionally, participants reported that when frozen farmed tilapia from outside Africa was imported, it was not always truthfully declared at ports of entry in terms of SADC rules of origin and was thus was smuggled in. Furthermore, the tilapia imports are all of small fish in terms of average boy weights which clearly cant be sold in Europe or the USA and are therefore dumped at low prices in sub Saharan Africa. Participants reiterated their concern as the current situation undermined the objectives as stipulated in the PFRS, particularly with respect to the policy pillars on Sustainable Aquaculture Development and Responsible and Equitable Fish Trade and Marketing. AU-IBAR was urged to investigate the matter further and ensure relevant action taken is taken such as insisting that only retail quality fish be traded into Africa from Asia and that substandard fish being imported be banned.

Closure of the Meeting

The following closing remarks were made:

  • Dr. Nelly Isyagi on behalf of the Director AU-IBAR thanked the participants for taking time from their schedules to participate in establishing a regional NSA platform in Nairobi. She reiterated the commitment of AU-IBAR way into the long term in lieu of the continental strategies for the sector notably PFRS and Africa’s Agenda 2063 and 2050 AIMS strategies. She thanked the translators, Azure Hotel, AU-IBAR administration and participants without whose collective concerted efforts the outcomes of the meeting would not have been achieved.
  • On behalf of the Director of FAO, Ms. Lena Westlund of FAO, expressed appreciation for the high level of commitment and hard work participants put into establish the platform. With SANSAFA in place, hopes were high for the effective implementation of the SSF guidelines and consequent improvement of working conditions and livelihoods of the regions fisher folk.
  • Ms. Panduleni Elago on behalf of the SADC Executive Secretary congratulated the SANSAFA and the new ECC. She expressed her pleasure at the fact that the regions’ NSAs now had a platform through which they could articulate their issues and engage with each other, their respective governments, partners and the SADC-Secretariat. This was indeed a welcome initiative for the SADC as stipulated in the regions development agenda. She reiterated the SADC-Secretariats committed support toward the implementation of this noble action and the realization of SANSAFAs’ goals. She thanked AU-IBAR for providing the technical and financial support for the formation of this meeting and trusted that this support would be continued particularly during SANSAFA’s inception years until it was well grounded to run on its own. She expressed her gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Kenya for hosting and providing a conducive environment for this SADC meeting and promised to relay the meeting proceedings and recommendations to the SADC Fisheries Officer. Ms. Elago thanked all the participants, meeting support personnel and wished everyone a safe journey back home.
  • In his closing remarks, Mr. Garikai Munatsirei, the newly elected Chairman of SANSAFA expressed thanks to all the participants for their time and travelling all the way from SADC to Nairobi, Kenya acknowledging the hard work they put in to achieve the objectives of the meeting. He noted the need to enhance fish production and trade within the region which called for organized structures and an all-inclusive coordinated approach to build and expand SADCs fish industry. He appreciated the effort that would need to collectively be put in over the next three years - which raised confidence in SANASFA’s RCC as core to the success of the sitting ECC. He thanked the AU-IBAR for its commitment to the process of establishing the regional and a continental platform for coordinating the African NSAs in fisheries and aquaculture. He appreciated the SADC-Secretariat’s role and support towards this process, notably to owning SANSAFA and pledging its continued support towards operationalizing it for the benefit -of stakeholders within the sector. He acknowledged FAO for participation, support and for its role in formulating the SFF guidelines. He urged participants to share the outcomes of this workshop with their members back home and recruit more members. He expressed thanks to the Kenya Government for hosting the meeting. With these remarks he officially declared the meeting closed.