The Second joint Project Steering Committee meeting of fish Gov and Fish Trade was held in Dakar, Republic of Senegal on March 31st, 2016.
The Projects are funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the African Union Commission (AUC), through the African Union - Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the New Partneship for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in the case of the Fisheries Governance. The Fish Trade Project is jointly implemented by AU-IBAR, NEPAD and WorldFish as the lead partners. The FishGov aims at enhancing the contribution of fisheries resources to food security and economic growth in Africa by improving institutional and policy environment for sustainable management and utilization of fisheries resources in Africa. The focus is to strengthen the capacity ofAfrican Union Member States (AU MS), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the Private Sector and relevant stakeholders to sustainably manage and untilize African Fisheries and Aquaculture resources through improving institutional and policy environment.
The Fish Trade Project on the other hand is implemented with the objective to improve food and nutrition security and reduce poverty through intra-regional Fish Trade in Sub-Saharan Africa. The core thrust of the Fish Trade targeted at enhancing the capacities of regional and pan-African organizations to support their member states to better integrate intra-regional fish trade into their development and food security policy agendas. The project actions are focused on four main trade corridors in the Western, Southern, Eastern and Central Africa.
The meeting was attended by 43 participants across the continent which included representatives of the key stakeholders of the projects: from the technical and implementing partners, the European Commission, Member states, RECs, RFBs, CSOs, the Private Sector, Farmers Organisations.
The main goal of the joint second PSC was to brief and inform the members on the status of implementations of the Fisheries Governenace and the Fish Trade projects since the first steering Committe meetings held in February 2015. Specifically the objectives were to inform members of the:
- The status of implementation of the recommendations of the First steering committe of the first steering committee meetings of the two EU Fisheries Projects.
- Progress of implementation of the the projects
- Financial Status of the Projects
- Main thrust of the Projects’ activities in 2016
The opening ceremony of the session was chaired by Dr. Mamadou Goudiaby, the Senegalese Director of Fisheries who represented his Excellency Honorable Oumar Gueye, the honorable Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs of the Republic of Senegal who declared Meeting opened. Opening remarks were also made by Dr. Sloans Chimatiro on behalf the Head of Worldfish; Dr. Simplice Nouala, on behalf of the Commissioner of Agriculture of DREA and the representative of EU in Senegal on behalf the EU Commission. Their remarks highlighted the importance of the fisheries governance and fish trade projects to address the fundamental causes of enduring problems that define African fisheries and aquaculture sector and urged members to adequately guide the implementation of the projects in this this regards and reposed confidence on the broad-based composition of steering committee.
The technical session of the Meeting, witnessed presentations by both projects on; Implementation of the Recommendations of the First Steering Committee Meetings; Progress reports; Financial Reports; Work Plan for 2016 as well as the Inception Report of the Technical Assistant to the FishGov Project. Deliberation on these dovetailed into recommendations by the Steering Committee which boarders on the areas of: Coordination and Coherence in Continental Fisheries Projects; Adoption of International Fisheries Instruments by AU member states; Fisheries Stock Assessment; Common African Positions in RFMOs; Improved Responses from AU-MS in Fisheries Matters; Sustainability and Visible Impacts of the Project; Enhanced Political Will and effective Stakeholders Engagement.