Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, July 09, 2015 - “The importance of fisheries and aquaculture in Cote d'Ivoire triggered the formulation of Strategic Plan for the Development of Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture and prioritised as one of the Presidential initiatives to transform Cote d’Ivoire into an emerging country by the year 2020”, says the Hon. Minister of Animal Resources, Fisheries and Aquaculture of Cote D’Ivoire, His Excellency Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani.
The African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), in collaboration with the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) and Department of Agriculture and Rural Economy of the African Union Commission (DREA-AUC) and with support from the European Union, organized an expert consultative meeting to validate the criteria and indicators as tracking tools for alignment of national and regional policies to the Policy Framework and reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (PFRS) from 9-11 July 2015 in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.
The PFRS was endorsed by the Summit of African Heads of States and Governments held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in June 2014 as a blue print to facilitate the Africa’s fisheries and aquaculture development. This Summit was preceded by the Second Conference of Ministers of Fisheries and Aquaculture (CAMFA II) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2014. The Ministers recommended, among others, that African Union Member States (AU MS), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) endeavour to align their fisheries and aquaculture policies to the Pan African PFRS. The African Ministers also urged development partners to align their initiatives and interventions in the fisheries sector to the PFRS.
In his opening remarks, The Hon. Minister of Animal Resources, Fisheries and Aquaculture of Cote D’Ivoire, His Excellency Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani stressed the importance of fisheries and aquaculture in Cote d'Ivoire. This was illustrated by the formulation of a Strategic Plan for the Development of Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture as one of the Presidential initiatives to transform Cote d’Ivoire into a middle income country by the year 2020. His Excellency the Hon. Minister acknowledged the importance of formulating criteria and indicators to facilitate domestication of the policy framework and reform strategy by African Union Member States (AU MS) and regional institutions to ensure coherence in the management of the sector, specifically for transboundary issues. He commended the high participation of AU MS which illustrates the commitment of African Union member states to AU led continental initiatives.
The African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), in collaboration with the NEPAD Agency and with support from the European Union, is organizing a Think Tank Meeting for the Validation of Parameters (Criteria) and Indicators for Monitoring the Alignment of National and Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Policies to the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa, scheduled to take place from 9th to 11th July 2015, in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire.
This meeting is a follow-up to the recently held expert consultative workshop, with participants comprising mainly members of the Working Groups of the African Fisheries Reform Mechanism, organized by AU-IBAR and NPCA in May, 2015 in Kampala, Uganda. The workshop developed criteria and indicators as tracking tools to facilitate the alignment of national and regional policies to the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture.
To enhance ownership and facilitate the implementation process of the alignment of national and regional policy to the Pan African Fisheries Policy, the criteria and indicators developed at the Kampala workshop need to be validated by the African Union Member States and relevant Regional Institutions.
A workshop on national and regional fisheries and aquaculture policies in Africa is underway in Kampala, Uganda from 20-22 May, 2015.
Africa has vast fisheries and aquaculture resources. However, numerous challenges undermine the ability of Africa's fisheries to contribute sustainably to economic growth, livelihoods, food security, nutrition and healthy ecosystems. Among the major causes for the continued under- performance within the sector are the lack of policy coherence and coordination, increasing levels of IUU fishing, weak intra-regional and international trade, weak capacity for aquaculture development and poorly developed artisanal fisheries sector.