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Communiqué - The Project Closure and Dissemination Workshop - Strengthening Institutional Capacity to Enhance Governance of the Fisheries Sector in Africa (The Fisheries Governance Project)

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© 2018 AU-IBAR. Group photo of participants at the technical session, 2nd September 2018, Cairo, Egypt 2018.© 2018 AU-IBAR. Group photo of participants at the technical session, 2nd September 2018, Cairo, Egypt 2018.Introduction

The Fisheries Governance Project was implemented by the African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), in collaboration with the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) from March 2014 to September 2018. Through the support of this EU funded Project, also fondly referred to as the Fisheries Governance Project, AU-IBAR initiated the implementation of the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (PFRS). The overall objective was to enhance the contribution of fisheries resources to food security and economic growth in Africa. Specifically the objective was to improve institutional and policy environment for sustainable management and utilization of fisheries resources in Africa.

After four and half years of implementation, AU-IBAR organized a closure and dissemination workshop from the 02nd-05th September 2018 in Cairo, Egypt. The overall objective of this project closure workshop was to share the achievements of the Fisheries Governance Project including lessons, best practices and challenges. Three main events were organized to mark the official closure of the Project:

  • A technical session comprising mainly of Directors of fisheries and aquaculture from the African Union member states, Regional economic communities, Regional fisheries bodies, water basin commissions, Non-state actors, women organizations and development partners
  • A High Level Policy Dialogue ministerial session comprising of 10 Ministers in charge of fisheries and aquaculture (or their representatives)
  • The final Steering Committee Meeting of the project

Opening Session

The opening session was facilitated by the Dr. Mohamed Seisay, Senior Fisheries Officer at AU-IBAR. Opening statements were made by the following:

  • Dr. Hamady Diop, On behalf of the Chief Executive Officer of NPCA
  • Dr. David Shearer, Director, International Partnership & Program Delivery, WorldFish, Penang, Malaysia
  • Professor Ahmed El-sawalhy, the Director of AU-IBAR

The Deputy Minister of livestock and fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Egypt, Dr. Mona Mehrez the opening statement and officially declared the workshop open.

Technical session: 2nd-3rd September 2018

The technical session saw presentation of achievements that were summarized under broad thematic areas

Summary of the main achievements related to the following broad thematic areas:

  • Enhanced coordination, cooperation and coherence in the governance the fisheries and aquaculture sector as well as consolidating African voice in regional and global forums.
  • Enhanced regional capacity and capability for MCS to effectively and sustainably combat the IUU fishing problem and enhancing awareness on the ecological and socio-economic of IUU in AU member states; supporting multi-sectoral or interagency cooperation for implementing effective national MCS systems.
  • Strengthened governance systems, inclusiveness for sustainable small-scale development for increased contribution to food security and livelihoods consistent with the Malabo Goals.
  • Developed the relevant continental capacity and awareness creation for meeting the benchmarks for accelerating aquaculture development and biosecurity governance as promising pathway to market-led aquatic systems.
  • Created awareness and built capacity for increased market-access and competitiveness of Africa fish and fish products as well as improving intra-regional trade in fish and fish products for sustained socio-economic growth and food security in Africa.
  • Provided policy options and best practices in the forms of policy briefs, advocacy notes and position papers for improved and evidence-based fisheries and aquaculture management; underpinned by improved capacity for utilization of scientific information by senior fisheries managers for decision-making, enhanced capacity for negotiating sustainable fisheries access agreements and effective participation in high seas fisheries (Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction) by AU member states.

In the ensuing interactive discussions the stakeholders appreciated the achievements of the project (and underscored the professional leadership of AU-IBAR during the Project implementation) and expressed confidence that that the achievements will immensely contribute significantly to food and nutrition security, livelihoods and wealth creation towards attainment of the Malabo Goals and the objectives of the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for fisheries and aquaculture in Africa.

They further strongly recommended continued support to African Union fisheries and aquaculture governance reform agenda within the structure and provisions of the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa. Specific recommendations were also made focussing on specific areas for the attention of the High Level Policy Dialogue Session.

The High level Policy Dialogue - 4th September 2018

© 2018 AU-IBAR. Group Photo of Hon. Ministers, Development partners and other participants, 4th September 2018, Cairo, Egypt.© 2018 AU-IBAR. Group Photo of Hon. Ministers, Development partners and other participants, 4th September 2018, Cairo, Egypt.A High Level Policy Dialogue was held on the 4th September 2018 and comprised of the African Ministers in charge of fisheries and aquaculture from selected AU member states, the representative of the European Union, the representative of WorldFish, representative of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, the Director of AU-IBAR. Other participants included the Directors of Fisheries and Aquaculture from AU member states, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs) and Water Basin Commissions, Civil Society Organizations (CSO), women representatives, private sector and development partners.

The opening session for this segment of the series of events witnessed statements by the following:

  • The Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of WorldFish, Prof. Baba Yusuf Abubakar
  • The Representative of the CEO of NPCA, Dr. Hamady Diop
  • The Representative of the European Union, Head of Section - Agriculture, Job Creation and Resilience, Delegation of the European Union to Kenya, Ms Myra Bernardi.
  • The Representative of Her Excellency AUC-DREA Commissioner, Prof. Ahmed El-sawalhy.

© 2018 AU-IBAR. Hon. Ministers, AU and partners, Cairo, Egypt 2018.© 2018 AU-IBAR. Hon. Ministers, AU and partners, Cairo, Egypt 2018.The official opening was done by His Excellency, the Hon. Minister for Agriculture and Land Reclamation, H. E. Prof. Dr. Ezz El din Abosteit. A keynote speech on the progress in advancing reforms in the governance of the fisheries and aquaculture in Africa was delivered by the Director of AU-IBAR, Professor Ahmed El-sawalhy. The achievements and hence the contribution of the fisheries governance project to progress made in the sustainable governance of the sector were clearly elucidated in the presentation.

The Ministerial statements affirming their support and the need to c support for consolidation of the gains and sustaining the achievements of the fisheries governance progress were made by the following Hon. Ministers or Representatives. The Hon. Ministers underscored the need for further support to the fisheries and aquaculture in the African continent to realise the transformation of the sector to contribute to inclusive economic growth and sustainable development towards Agenda 2063.

H. E. Prof. Dr. Ezz El din Abosteit
Honourable Minister
Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation
Republic of Egypt
Tel: +20233373616
E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ministère de La Pêche et de la Mer
E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ministre des Eaux, Forêts, Chasse et Pêche
Ministère des Eaux, Forêts, Chasse et Pêche
BANGUI –République Centrafricaine
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel : (+236) 75 51 51 17 / 72 05 75 58

S.E.M. Henri Djombo,
Ministre d'Etat de l'Agriculture, de l'élevage et de la pêche
Ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Elevage et de la Pêches
B.P. 2453 - 2105, Rue Voula,
Plateaux de 15 ans
242 Brazzaville, CONGO
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hon Christopher Kibanzanga
State Minister for Agriculture
Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries
P.O. Box 102 Entebbe

S. E. Sommanogo KOUTOU,
Ministère des Ressources Animales et Halieutiques
09 BP 1104
Ouagadougou 09
Republique de Burkina Faso

Hon. Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe
Deputy Minister of Fisheries
Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development
Fisheries Commission
P. O. Box 630, Accra, Ghana
Tel: +233 247777700
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hon. Ibrahim TURAY
Deputy Minister
Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources
7th Floor, Youyi Building,
Freetown Sierra Leone
Tel: +232 77438032
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. Jaji Manu Gidado
Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries
BP: 1086.
Yaoundé, Cameroun
237 677 429 802
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Ms Marie Joelle Sandrine VALERE
Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping
4th floor, LIC Building, John Kennedy Street
Port Louis, Mauritius
+230 2112455 (office)/ +230 5250 0736 (mobile)
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Recommendations from the High Level Policy Dialogue

The recommendations from the technical session were presented by the Deputy Minister of Livestock and Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Dr. Mona Mehrez for their endorsement which read as follows: The Hon. Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the recommendations and fully endorsed them as follows:

Enhancing coordination and coherence in African fisheries and aquaculture for improved sustainable governance of sector

  • Recommend AU and RECs to enhance policy coherence, create synergies and complementarities in stakeholder programs.
  • Request AU to strengthen the functional mechanisms of communication and coordination among Regional Economic Communities, regional fisheries organization, NSAs, platforms, networks for sustainable and optimal utilization of fisheries and aquaculture resources in Africa.
  • Urge AU, RECs and MS to ensure the coordination of support from technical and financial partners in favour of priority projects and programs with the greatest impact including harmonization of research, data collection and information exchange.
  • Request AU and RFBs to strengthen the capacities of the States to develop integrated fisheries and aquaculture policies in coherence with the international, continental and regional level.

Strengthening monitoring, control and surveillance systems for Effective Combat of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

  • Encourage AU and RECs to enhance regional cooperation in MCS
  • Request AU to support implementation of the tools, guidelines and frameworks developed through the Fisheries Governance Project at national, regional and continental levels
  • Urge MS to harmonize and align national fisheries and aquaculture legislations with related national, regional, continental and global instruments
  • Urge AU to intensify awareness creation on the ecological and socio economic benefits of combating IUU fishing including the use of trade related measures

Promoting Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries Development for Food Security and Livelihoods

  • Recommend AU to continue strengthening governance and coordination of small-scale fisheries, including ornamental fisheries, at various levels especially regional levels to enhance bilateral and regional cooperation in the management of shared resources.
  • Urge MS and RECs to accelerate capacity enhancement of small-scale and inland fisheries actors (including NSAs) paying particular attention to women, youth and other vulnerable and marginalized groups in decision making at all levels.
  • Encourage MS to improve infrastructure and support services in the small-scale and inland fisheries sector for value addition and reduced post-harvest waste and loss.
  • Request AU, MS and RECs to build and regularly update and harmonize information/database systems on small-scale fisheries for improved decision-making and management.

Accelerating aquaculture development and biosecurity governance

  • Recommend AU to support implementation of aquaculture frameworks and guidelines developed under the Fisheries Governance project.
  • Urge MS and RECs to adopt and implement the aquaculture frameworks and guidelines (environmental management, aquaculture action plans, feed, seed, extension, business and production model, and biosecurity control) at regional and national level.
  • Recommend MS and RECs to enhance competitiveness of African aquaculture within the regional markets.
  • Request AU, RECs and MS to strengthen capacity of private and public sector networks to drive the industry.

Enhancing market access and improving. strengthening intra-regional fish trade

  • Recommend AU and RECs to support MS to reform trade policies and regulations and provide infrastructure and technical support to fish traders and processors to contribute to the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
  • Urge AU and RECs to strengthen the capacity and knowledge of MS to implement continental and regional trade rules.
  • Encourage RECs and MS to provide incentives at regional and national levels to formalize the informal trade especially for women.

The Final Project Steering Meeting: 5th September 2018, Cairo Egypt

© 2018 AU-IBAR. Group photo of Members of Project Steering Committee.© 2018 AU-IBAR. Group photo of Members of Project Steering Committee.The final Project Steering Committee Meeting (PSCM) was organized on the 5th September 2018. Those in attendance comprised of steering committee members and observers. The AU member states were represented by the Directors of Fisheries or their representatives from Nigeria, Cameroon, Mauritius, Malawi and Kenya. The RECs were represented by ECCAS, IGAD, UMA and EAC and the RFBs by SRFC, COREP, FCWC, COMHAFAT/ALATFCO and LVFO. The Non-State Actors (NSA) present included the Regional NSA Platforms for West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, North Africa and Southern Africa, the Continental Network of Women in Fish Processing and Trade (AWFISH).

Also present were the representatives of the European Union, FAO, NPCA, WorldFish and EU Technical Assistance to AU-IBAR fisheries and aquaculture programme, Cardno. The AUC-DREA Commissioner was represented by the Director of AU-IBAR.

The final project steering committee was aimed at sharing lessons learnt, best practices and challenges in the implementation of the project and to solicit strategic guidance on leveraging on the achievements of the project.

The final project steering was chaired by Professor Ahmed El-sawalhy representing Her Excellency the Commissioner for DREA-AUC. Opening statements were made by:

  • The representative of European Union, Ms Myra Bernardi
  • The Representative of NPCA, Dr. Hamady Diop
  • The Representative of WorldFish, Dr. Sloans Chimatiro

The Director of AU-IBAR gave the opening statement. He welcomed the participants to the meeting and reminded them of the functions of the Project Steering Committee. He noted that this was a final project steering meeting and therefore urged the members to propose recommendations that would provide a logical pathway for future intervention coherent with the achievement of the Project. He expressed deep appreciation for the support of the EU to animal resources development programme but specifically to the fisheries and aquaculture programmes. He assured the EU delegate that AU-IBAR has the technical competency, capability and willingness to continue future intervention in the fisheries and aquaculture sector that would consolidate the gains made in the fisheries governance progress.

The following presentations were made to stimulate discussions and decision by the Meeting:

  • Progress in the implementation of recommendations of the last immediate project steering committee meeting held in Maputo, Mozambique, 2017 by AU-IBAR
  • Summary of achievements of the project, lessons learnt and challenge’s in the sources of implementation of the project by AU-IBAR
  • Presentation of by EU Technical Assistance CARDNO on implementation of technical assistance component
  • The preliminary report of the final evaluation of the project by consultant
  • The budget profile of expenditure of the project by AU-IBAR

Outcomes of the Final Project Steering Meeting

The project steering committee members expressed great satisfaction over the achievements of the project. They particularly noted the progress in enhancing coordination, regional cooperation and coherence in the sector, strengthening African voice, impressive gains made in enhancing regional cooperation on fisheries management and aquaculture development issues such as combating IUU, environmental management for aquaculture development etc. The members underscored the imperativeness for continuation of interventions to build on, consolidate and sustain the impressive achievements that have made.

As a strategic policy guidance and way-forward, the members recommended, among others, the following:

  • To fully operationalize and ensure active functioning of the African fisheries reform mechanism (AFRM) as AU-led platform to galvanize the continent within the provision of think tank events, evidence-based and coherent formulation of policies, strategies, measures.
  • Strengthen and consolidating the African voice in global forums consistent with the Agenda 2063, support continental adherence to global instruments and implement of global, continental and regional initiatives such as blue economy, SDGs, AIMS, etc.
  • Further strengthen the ongoing initiatives by AU-IBAR monitoring the implementation of PFRS.
  • To develop strategic and practical support to fully operationalize the nascent platforms and networks that have been established for increased coordination in the sector.
  • Development of tools and strategies to roll out the frameworks and guidelines that have been formulated. The need for AU to work with regional institutions was underscored.
  • To implement mechanism to support transboundary distribution of quality aquatic animal seeds and feeds.
  • To intensify the intervention in ornamental fisheries to ensure sustainable exploitation and trade. This also should include stock rebuilding programmes for depleted fish stocks in general.
  • AU_IBAR to continue to support member states and regional institutions in capacity building (human and institutional) at all levels in the sector.
  • To deepen support to enhancing competiveness of African fish and fish products and protection of fishing and aquaculture industry.
  • Increase effort for the profitable engagement of women and youth in the fisheries and aquaculture sector in future intervention.