Communiqué - 9th Session of Aquaculture Network for Africa (ANAF) Meeting

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© 2020 AU-IBAR. 9th Session of Aquaculture Network for Africa (ANAF) Meeting.© 2020 AU-IBAR. 9th Session of Aquaculture Network for Africa (ANAF) Meeting.17th-19th February 2020
Accra, Ghana


The Nineth Meeting of the Annual Aquaculture Network for Africa (ANAF) was organized by the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in collaboration with the Government and People of Ghana. The meeting was supported by the AU-IBAR through funding from African Union Member states.

The meeting was held from the 17th to 19th February 2020 at Mensvick Grand Hotel in Accra, Ghana.

The main objective of the expert consultative meeting was to develop terms of reference, rules of procedures and related underpinning governance instruments of ANAF to reflect the expanded scope and the new institutional arrangement with regards to transfer of the ANAF Secretariat to AU-IBAR.

Specific objectives were to:

  1. review the current Terms of References (TORs), mission objectives and rules of procedures
  2. review the membership criteria, categories of membership
  3. review the action plan from 2018 Nairobi meeting
  4. present structure of the proposed new ANAF webpage
  5. sharing experience and best practices on aquaculture environmental management by member states
  6. conduct filed mission to cage farming sites on Volta Lake for lessons learning and best practices in environmental management in aquatic fish production systems


The meeting was attended by 30 representatives from the 17 African Union Member States namely: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zambia; Regional Institutions: Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation (LVFO), Development Partner: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO); and Independent Experts from Private Sector and Academic Institutions. Also in attendance were staff members of AU-IBAR.

The selected rapporteurs for this meeting were Dr Divine Ngala Tombuh (Cameroon), Ms Hellen Moepi (South Africa), Mrs Joyce Ikwaput-Nyeko (Uganda), and Dr Venantious Mulenga Musonda (Zambia).

Opening Session

Mr. Michael Arthur-Dadzie, Director of the Fisheries Commission, an agency of Ministry of Fisheries
and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), facilitated the opening session.

Remarks were received from the following institutions:

  1. Statement by the Chair of Policy Research Network for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa,
    an initiative of the AU-IBAR, Dr Sloans Chimatiro
    He was delighted that the meeting was being held in Ghana, one of the champions of aquaculture development on the continent and highlighted the following; The adoption and implementation of the NEPAD Action Plan for the Development of African Fisheries and Aquaculture by Ghana in 2007 has seen accelerated increase in aquaculture production; The Policy Research Network for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (PRNFAA) was established in order to ensure that “evidencebased, timely and relevant information is generated through high-quality research; The Network was established with the aim of ensuring the effective implementation of the policy objectives of the Policy frame and reform strategy for fisheries and aquaculture in Africa (PFRS); The 3rd Ordinary Session of the Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARDWE) held in Addis Ababa, October 2019, formally approved the PRNFAA; The PRNFAA looks forward to a strong ANAF because aquaculture is one of the key policy areas
    in the PFRS as well as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). He wished participants a fruitful workshop and pledged the support of PRNFAA to ANAF.
  2. Welcoming Remarks on behalf of Director AU-IBAR, Dr Mohamed Seisay, the Senior Fisheries Officer
    Dr. Mohamed Seisay, on behalf of the Director of AU-BAR, welcomed the participants and conveyed the Director’s gratitude to the Government and People of Republic of Ghana for hosting this important workshop and highlighted the following, that; African Union is honoured for the confidence reposed in the continental institution by the AU Member States to provide hosting for the Secretariat of the Aquaculture Network for Africa; acknowledged the critical role played by Dr. Gueye and Mr. Crespi that saw the successful transfer of ANAF Secretariat to AU-IBAR and that FAO has remained true to its promise to continue to support ANAF; two annual meetings of the Network have been organized by AU-IBAR since its transfer to AU-IBAR; ANAF and the Secretariat would continue to be supported by Africa Union members to support aquaculture development as a viable alternate fish production method as articulated in the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (PFRS); there still remains a missing link in the institutional anchorage of ANAF to African Union; the current mission, objectives and rule of procedures need to be reviewed in line with Africa priorities and particularly more within the PFRS, as such these are the instruments that would be submitted to the next ministerial Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment for the high
    level political endorsement of ANAF; this meeting would therefore seize the opportunity to hear from experts as well as share experiences and best practices on environmental management for sustainable aquaculture development; delegates would be undertaking a field mission to the Volta Lake to observe first hand cage culture in practice; and as Secretariat, they would endeavour to take ANAF to higher level so that the network is more responsive to the needs of member states, as AU MS are keen on having value for their money and they are determined to own their own
    agenda and be the narrator of Africa development progress.
  3. Statement by the Senior Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer in FAO Regional Office for Africa, Dr Ndiaga Gueye
    Firstly on behalf of the Senior Management of FAO, Dr Gueye congratulated the AU-IBAR for convening this ninth Session of ANAF, and expressed great thanks for the kind invitation. He highlighted the following, that; that FAO supported ANAF since its inception and is still willing to continue to do so; the momentum is kept after the handing over to AU-IBAR and the flag is flying higher under the strong leadership of the Director of AU-IBAR, Prof. Ahmed El-sawalhy; there are many reasons of having a Network, one of which is sharing resources and responsibilities among institutions (and countries) as the most practical and cost-effective means available for identifying and solving the diverse problems that the countries of this Great Continent face in modernizing, expanding and sustaining aquaculture; FAO welcomes the Network’s progress as cooperation becomes even more imperative with the limited resources of governments and their need to make the best use of internal resources and external support; there are many complex challenges facing aquaculture development which is a relatively new food production and employment generation activity arguing for a collaborative approach to use resources efficiently and overcome constraints; we need to tackle them jointly as an African community as one relying on our professionalism and commitment.
  4. Official opening by Government of Ghana, the Honourable Deputy Minister
    The Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Hon. Francis Ato Codjoe gave the opening statement. He conveyed appreciation from the President of the Country, H.E Akofo Addo and Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Minister for Fisheries for choosing Ghana to host the meeting. The Hon. Deputy Minister informed the delegates that there are programme and plans to develop large scale aquaculture in Ghana and be pioneers in aquaculture development on the continent. He stated that the meeting served as a platform for bringing expertise on board for developing aquaculture sector. The structures and ToRs for ANAF MS should be to manage their resources for aquaculture development, how government should be held responsible for developing and implementing aquaculture programs at national level. The Hon. Deputy Minister recognized the importance of good governance in aquaculture and underscored the following, that; aquaculture is the fastest growing sector globally for providing food and nutritional security and as such requires sustainable development and expansion; the decision and implementation of aquaculture programs must involve participation of all stakeholders; environmental management is key in sustainable aquaculture development; Ghana experienced a disease outbreak (infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV)) in aquaculture (tilapia species) that saw the fish production reduced from 76 000mt in 2018 to 52000 mt in 2019 that led to the government introducing vaccination services; ANAF will need to discuss and address issues of aquaculture infrastructure, marine environment, private sector involvement, taxes in goods and services to optimise production, training capacity, disease control, trans-boundary issues management;. a possible mechanism for cooperation would need to be developed and; there is a need for more aquaculture professionals to join the ANAF.

The Meeting

Day 1

The overall facilitation of the meeting was coordinated by Dr. Mohamed Seisay.

Background Presentations

This session set the scene for the meeting and was facilitated by Dr Friday Njaya, Director of Fisheries in Malawi.

The following presentations were given:

  1. Background and Objectives of the 9th Session of ANAF by ANAF Secretariat (Dr. Mohamed Seisay)
  2. Presentation of Rule of procedure of APRIFAAS by Dr. Mohamed Seisay
  3. Progress in implementation of recommendations of 8th ANAF Session by Ms Hellen Moepi (South Africa)
  4. Presentation of general and specific objectives of ANAF by Ms Betty Nyandat (Kenya)
  5. Presentation of the draft Rules of Procedure of ANAF (as proposed by FAO) by Dr. Magatte Ba (Senegal)
  6. Update from the COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture that was held in Norway in August 2019 and the way forward by Mrs Joyce Ikwaput Nyeko (Uganda)
  7. Presentation of Rule of Procedure of Policy Research Network for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa by Mr. Georges Mbasseko, Director General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Agency in Gabon and Vice President of PRNFAA

Day 2

Technical Session

This session on the formulation of governance instruments for ANAF in the context of African priorities was facilitated by Prof Kaunda, Director - Aqua Fish Centre of Excellence, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

The following presentations were received:

  1. Environmental management for sustainable aquaculture development – Southern African case study by Mr. Etienne Hinrichsen, African Aquaculture Development Specialist
  2. Environmental management for sustainable catfish farming in Nigeria; what are the lessons and best practices by Prof. Augustine Falaye
  3. Environmental management for sustainable Tilapia farming in Egypt by Prof. Adel Shaheen
  4. Environmental management in cage culture practices on the Volta Lake, Ghana by Dr. Ruby Asmah
  5. Environmental Management to Safeguard Aquaculture Growth: PRNFAA and ANAF Policy Brief– Dr. Sloans Chimatiro

Presentations by ANAF Member States

This session focused on country presentation regarding environmental challenges, lessons and best practices in sustainable aquaculture development.

The session was facilitated by Mrs. Joyce Ikwaput Nyeko, Acting Commissioner, Aquaculture Management and Development in Uganda.

The presentations by member states were given in this order: Botswana, Malawi, Nigeria, Cameroun, Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Kenya, Tunisia, Egypt, Ghana, Mozambique, Uganda and Liberia.

Key environmental management issues that can be undertaken by ANAF

The success and potential of aquaculture has often been tarnished by social and environmental problems including:

  1. Laws, regulations and voluntary codes of practice that aim to ensure environmental integrity;
  2. Policies guiding climate change mitigation and adaptation in relation to environmental management;
  3. Direct and indirect resource and biodiversity degradation;
  4. Resource use conflict;
  5. Species for culture and the environmental concerns;
  6. Social disruption, including increases in inequity;
  7. Catastrophic or chronic disease problems;
  8. Direct and indirect health impacts, particularly in relation to indiscriminate use of chemicals and antibiotics;
  9. Aquaculture development policy guidelines and their application to sustainable aquaculture environmental management;
  10. Short fall in implementation of best Aquaculture practices in Aquaculture facilities and centres of excellence;
  11. Environmental impact assessments and their monitoring.

Group work sessions

The plenary session after the group session was facilitated by Prof Falaye, Department Of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, University of Ibadan.

Two working groups were formed and discussed the following:

Group 1:

a. Formulation of draft revised mission statement, objectives, membership criteria and composition of ANAF in the Africa’s aquaculture development
b. Review and finalizing ANAF Flyer

Group 2 and 3:
c. Formulation of draft revised Rules of Procedures within the framework of new status – transfer to AU-IBAR/African Union

Day 3

Field trip on the Volta Lake for lessons lesson learning, best practices in cage culture practices was undertaken by the delegation and Facilitated by Mr. Isaac Nyameke, Fisheries and Aquaculture Consultant.

Meeting Outcomes

The meeting achieved the following main outcomes:

  1. Draft harmonized Rules of procedures for ANAF
  2. Draft mission objectives, Functions of ANAF
  3. A draft flier for ANAF reviewed and improved
  4. Awareness enhanced among AU member states on environmental management for sustainable aquaculture development
  5. Lessons learnt and best practices in cage fish farming

Key Recommendations

The meeting came up with the following set of recommendations:

Recommendations on ANAF

  1. It was highlighted that ANAF role is to promote sustainable development of aquaculture on the continent. Any member state of AU should take a lead in ensuring that the network is meeting its objectives.
  2. All the 55 MS should be compulsory members of ANAF.
  3. ANAF secretariat should be mandated to develop an innovative way of sourcing additional funds for its project activities and sustainability through proposals development.
  4. ANAF secretariat should learn from other existing organisations
  5. The environmental management in aquaculture development is of outmost importance in the national and transboundary ecosystem. The meeting recognised the need to harmonise the environmental policies in the region
  6. Develop comprehensive protocol on movement of biological materials for aquaculture within the continent and into the continent. ANAF should do this in close collaboration with PRNFAA.
  7. Promote strategic environment impact assessment and zones for aquaculture
  8. Institute mandatory aquaculture environment impact monitoring regime
  9. Allocate adequate funds for aquaculture research and development especially for development of indigenous species for culture
  10. It was requested that the theme for ANAF 2020 should be on environmental management in sustainable aquaculture development
  11. ANAF secretariat should organize an annual forum such as a dedicated session for aquaculture development in line with PFRS.
  12. Member states Focal Persons should be mandated to attend annual ANAF meetings

Recommendations on operationalization of ANAF Secretariat

  1. It was recommended that AU-IBAR fast-track the process of finalizing legal instruments (Rules of Procedures) of ANAF
  2. It was recommended that AU-IBAR utilizes the final legal instruments for setting up ANAF website
  3. It was alluded to the fact that AU-IBAR needs to ensure that the network is operational and that the role of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are well defined in the network

Way Forward

  1. The drafting team was constituted to harmonize the ANAF Rules of Procedures from the two working groups before the end of the week
  2. The team comprised of Mrs Joyce (Uganda) nominated as a Team leader, Dr Friday Njaya (Malawi), Hellen Moepi (South Africa), Dr Magatte Ba (Senegal), Mrs Betty Nyandat (Kenya), Mr Istifanus Pwaspo (Nigeria)
  3. ANAF MS requested AU-IBAR to source a legal expert to finalise the rules of procedures on behalf of the ANAF to be sent to the Director of AU-IBAR
  4. ANAF MS requested AU-IBAR for an extra-ordinary session in order to constitute the bureau (which will elect members of the bureau) to hold the office of the ANAF before the STC meeting in 2021
  5. To organize experts’ meeting to develop a policy brief on aquaculture environmental management in April 2020
  6. AU-IBAR shall submit the finalised ANAF Rules of Procedures and other legal instruments to the General Assembly prior to the STC meeting for consideration.

Closing of the Meeting

Dr Mohamed Seisay gave closing remarks on behalf Director AU-IBAR. He thanked the Government and People of Ghana for the excellent hospitality. He thanked the AU MS delegations for successful deliberations and assured the meeting that AU-IBAR would endeavour to meet its obligations with regards to the meeting recommendations.

Mr Arthur-Dadzie, the Executive Director of Ghana Fisheries Commission, stated that the Deputy Minister and Minister would not be able to join in the closing session as the country is going through an election period. Her Excellency the Minister sent warm greetings and congratulated the participants for a successful meeting. He stated that this meeting served as a policy think tank and now it is important that the participants share the meeting outcomes with politicians to ensure implementation of necessary reforms required in developing the aquaculture sector. The Politicians are looking forward to good practices and lesson learnt stories. He informed the
meeting that Ghana is revising its law and it is important that the law gets approved before election of a new minister or else it would be approved after two years. He encouraged the meeting to be innovative and implement activities that have no financial implications. He alluded that presence of plastics in aquatic ecosystems is a big concern in environmental management that needs to tackle collectively. He declared the meeting officially closed.

Communiqué - 9th Session of Aquaculture Network for Africa (ANAF) Meeting
Date 2020-03-13 Language  English Filesize 1.53 MB