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Establishment of an African Platform for Regional Institutions for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Systems (APRIFAAS)

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© 2015 AU-IBAR. Participants at the stakeholder’s consultative workshop on the establishment of APRIFAAS in Cotonou, Benin, April 2015.© 2015 AU-IBAR. Participants at the stakeholder’s consultative workshop on the establishment of APRIFAAS in Cotonou, Benin, April 2015.An African Platform for Regional Institutions for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Systems (APRIFAAS) has been established by key stakeholders in fisheries and aquaculture development in Africa. The platform is the outcome of a series of stakeholders’ consultations, facilitated by the African Union Commission (AUC), African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA), that took place across the continent from 2012 to 2015 in South Africa, Ghana, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire culminating in the formal establishment of the Platform. The Platform is established within the framework of the African Fisheries Mechanism Reform (AFRM) which was endorsed by the Summit of African Heads of States and Governments in June 2014 as a mechanism for coordination and coherence in African Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector.

The establishment of the African Platform for Regional Fisheries Institutions is against the background of weak regional collaboration and coordination in the sector as recognized by the Conference of African Ministers for Fisheries and Aquaculture in 2010 and 2014.

The Platform is a mechanism established to strengthen regional institutional coordination and collaboration with respect to fisheries and aquaculture development matters in Africa.

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2nd Steering Committee of the Project “Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation of African Animal Genetic Resources”

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© 2015 AU-IBAR. Participants at the 2nd Steering Committee of the Project “Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation of African Animal Genetic Resources”.© 2015 AU-IBAR. Participants at the 2nd Steering Committee of the Project “Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation of African Animal Genetic Resources”.On July 24th 2015 the AU-IBAR Genetics Project “Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation of African Animal Genetic Resources” held its 2nd Steering Committee meeting at the Sofitel Mauritius l’Impérial Resort and Spa, in Port Louis, Mauritius.

The Steering Committee meeting was chaired by Dr. Simplice Nouala, representing the Director of AU-IBAR. The meeting was attended by representatives from RECs (COMESA, EAC, ECCAS and IGAD), from Member States (Botswana, Gabon, Mauritius and Zambia) from technical and implementing partners (CIRDES, FARA NEPAD and ILRI), from Farmers Organizations (Mauritius Deer cooperative and Réseau Billital Maroobé (RBM)) and the European Commission.

The Project Team reported on the achievements that included: promotion and strong position of African countries on issues relating to AnGR, policy and legislation gaps and potential interventions identified, initiation of assessment on the legal environment for the exchange and movement of animal genetic materials, stock-taking of the challenges and constraints in the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in African countries since its ratification, establishment of Sub-Regional Focal Points (S-RFPs) for AnGR in all five regions of the continent. Other achievements included establishment of regional networks and community of practice for information sharing, lessons learning and coordination of AnGR initiatives on the continent, initiatives to harmonize AnGR tools including identification of suitable characterization, inventory and monitoring tools for use within the continent and the African Animal Genetic Resources Information System (AAGRIS) hosted as a module within ARIS2 envisioned as a “one-stop-shop” for information and data on AnGR.

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AU-IBAR, WorldFish and NEPAD launch Pan-Africa Project on Fish Trade for Increased Nutrition and Income

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worldfishA new pan-African project has been launched to strengthen the continent's great potential for increased trade in fish. Africa, a continent that is endowed with plentiful fish resources in oceans, rivers, lakes, floodplains and fish farms accounts for just 4.9% of global fish trade. More efficient trade could significantly improve income and nutrition for millions of Africans, particularly those 12.3 million that are directly employed in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

Trade is constrained by inadequate market and trade infrastructure and poor policy implementation. High transport costs, complex and unaligned trade rules and poor market information also prevent Africa from optimizing the social and economic benefits available.

'FishTrade for a Better Future', a European Commission funded project implemented by WorldFish, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) will strengthen value chains and, with a focus on sustainability, give better access to intra-regional markets and subsequently improve food and nutritional security and income in sub-Saharan Africa.

Stephen J Hall, Director General, WorldFish: "Africa has the potential to develop its fisheries and aquaculture to play a much greater role in promoting food security, providing livelihoods and supporting economic growth. Per capita consumption has fallen, despite Africa's great abundance of aquatic resources. FishTrade will create the foundations for a more solid, productive and sustainable building-up of this great, continent-wide, resource."

Hamady Diop, Programme Manager Fisheries and Aquaculture, NEPAD: "Recent years have seen increased growth in aquaculture. FishTrade will provide the opportunity to learn from past successes and failures and governments will be given the right information to be able to create the incentives and infrastructure that investors need to meet local demand and penetrate higher value-added export markets."

Steve Wathome, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Rural Development Delegation of the European Union to Kenya, European Commission: "The EU is convinced that the Fish Trade programme will significantly contribute towards the fisheries sector in Africa. Trade has been identified as one of the major challenges affecting growth of the fish sector in Africa, with challenges being notable with regard to intra-Africa trade and accessing global markets."

Prof. Ahmed El Sawalhy Director AU-IBAR: "Trade plays a major role in the fishery industry as a creator of employment, food supplier, income generator, and contributor to economic growth and development in several African countries. Domestic and intra-regional trade of fish (both marine and inland waters) is important with great potential for enhancing regional integration and food and nutrition security. However many AU Member States still face several constraints in improving their fish trade and marketing sector. This project will enable alignment of policies at the continental level and open-up fish trade that we believe will have a strong effect on the alleviation of poverty in some of our poorest regions."

© 2015 AU-IBAR. Group photo of the meeting participants.© 2015 AU-IBAR. Group photo of the meeting participants.FishTrade will work in four 'corridors' to generate information on the structure, products and value of intra-regional fish trade and its contribution to food security in sub-Saharan Africa. Recommendations will be prepared on policies, fish certification guidelines and quality and safety standards, as well as regulations. A second stage will focus on strengthening the trade capacities of private sector associations, in particular of women fish processors, women traders and all aquaculture producers, in order for them to make better use of expanding trade opportunities through competitive small- and medium-scale enterprises.

Finally Fish Trade for a Better Future will support adoption and implementation of appropriate policies, fish certification procedures, standards and regulations by key stakeholders in intra-regional trade.

The program will equip governments with the capacities needed to implement the African Union Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa. In addition, it has been designed to support the work of governments towards implementation of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth And Transformation for Shared Prosperity And Improved Livelihoods.

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STSD Implementing Partners Discuss Progress & Challenges in 2014 and Develop Work Plan for 2015 Activities

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© 2015 AU-IBAR. STSD Implementing Partners Discuss Progress & Challenges in 2014 and Develop Work Plan for 2015 Activities.© 2015 AU-IBAR. STSD Implementing Partners Discuss Progress & Challenges in 2014 and Develop Work Plan for 2015 Activities.9th – 11th February, Naivasha, Kenya. The Improving Animal Disease Surveillance in Support of Trade in IGAD MS (STSD) Project organized a planning meeting for the implementing partners from 9th to 11th February, 2015 at Fish Eagle Hotel, Naivasha, Kenya. The meeting was attended by National Focal Points (NFPs) of the project and surveillance coordinators in the national veterinary diagnostic laboratories of the Member States (MS) of the IGAD region that include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. The meeting was also attended by the relevant staff members of AU-IBAR and IGAD Secretariat.

Objectives

The overall objective of the planning meeting was to develop a harmonized and consolidated work plan for 2015 activities implemented at national and regional levels, while the specific objectives were:

  • To update on the progress of the project activities in 2014;
  • To develop a detailed work plan for activities implemented at national and regional levels;
  • To work out budget required for implementation of national activities;
  • To prepare a harmonized implementation calendar of national and regional activities;
  • To discuss the challenges of STSD implementation and chart the way forward for addressing the challenges experienced in 2014;
  • To discuss and agree on disbursement modalities of funds for national activities; and
  • To orient participants on the procurement rules & regulations of the African Union Commission (AUC).

In his opening remark on behalf of the IGAD Secretariat/ICPALD, Dr. Ameha Sebsibe recognized the success of the project in the past year and reminded the participants that the year 2015 is going to be very critical to the project and urged MSs to plan well for efficient implementation.

The planning meeting was officially opened by the Director of AU-IBAR, Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy. The Director welcomed all to the meeting and reminded the participants of the responsibility of AU-IBAR to ensure the control of animal diseases on the continent, and expressed optimism that through improving animal disease surveillance and livestock identification and traceability systems, MS will be able to better understand the epidemiology of priority diseases and build their capacities to respond to animal health emergencies.

Professor Elsawalhy highlighted the project's achievements for the year 2014 and said that a total of 18 activities were planned for implementation in 2015. The timely and effective implementation of these activities required collective efforts involving proper planning, collaboration, coordination and above all commitment by all, he said.

The Director recognized the great effort employed in the project by IGAD Secretariat and MS, and expressed sincere faith in seeing the momentum set in 2014 continuing all through 2015. Finally, he also thanked the EU for its financial support, and emphasized the fact that success of the project implementation will be achieved as a result of collective responsibility of all players in the project.

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Assessment of Animal Genetic Resources Characterization, Inventory and Monitoring tools/protocols to guide revision and harmonization processes

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© 2014 AU-IBAR. Group Photo.© 2014 AU-IBAR. Group Photo.25 - 27 September 2014, Giraffe Ocean View Hotel – Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Introduction

The African Union – Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) organized from 25th – 27th September 2014, a workshop, focusing on the "Assessment of Animal Genetic Resources Characterization, Inventory and Monitoring tools/protocols to guide revision and harmonization processes".

The workshop was organized in the framework of the implementation of the Project "Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of African Animal Genetic Resources".

The workshop aimed at:

  1. Assessing the existing characterization and inventory tools/protocols.
  2. Designing a strategy to improve the utilization of the existing characterization and inventory tools/protocols.
  3. Identify key actors and outline their roles and responsibilities.

The meeting was attended by participants drawn from 22 African countries (Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Republic of Central Africa, The Gambia, Ghana, Gabon, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Togo, Tunisia, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, and South Africa). The participants mainly comprised of technical experts stationed in livestock ministries, National, Regional and International research and training organizations/institutions. These included CIRDES, ILRI, BecA, NAGRC&DB, KALRO, ITRA, ISRA/LNERV, APRI, NARO, ARC-API, South Africa, Rwanda Agriculture Board, the Nelson-Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology "NM-AIST" of Tanzania, University of Tlemcen, Algeria, Nassarawa State University of Nigeria, University of Burundi, University of Koudougou, Burkina Faso, University of Dschang, Cameroon, University of Ghana, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, Makerere University, Uganda, ESA de Mateur - University of Carthage, Tunisia, University Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY, Côte d'Ivoire;).

The opening ceremony was chaired by Dr N'Guetta Bosso, Technical Assistant for the Genetics Project, representing the Director of AU-IBAR. In his welcome remarks Dr Bosso, on behalf of the director of AU-IBAR, extended sincere greetings to all participants to the Workshop. He further extended special thanks and appreciation to the government of the United Republic of Tanzania for accepting to be the host of this workshop. He noted that worldwide efforts are being made to conserve and use genetic resources in a sustainable way and AU-IBAR, has also engaged in the field of sustainable utilization of genetic resources which includes conservation. He emphasized on the knowledge gap in characterization, inventory and monitoring, especially of African AnGR and recalled the objectives of the workshop. He mentioned that it would provide a practical platform to undertake a thorough assessment on the degree of adoption of the existing FAO guidelines. He ended wishing a constructive participation and the adoption of the best possible roadmap for the development of tools/protocols.

Dr. Yohana Budeba, Acting Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, welcomed the participants to the workshop. Dr. Budeba on behalf of the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Dr. Titus Mlengeya Kamani, He extended a warm welcome to all the participants to the workshop and the appreciation for having chosen Tanzania to host the workshop. He noted the significant contributions of livestock to food security, livelihoods and as a key driver of wealth creation and economic development in many African countries. Despite these contributions, budgetary allocations to the sector continue to be relatively low compared with other sectors. One of the major reasons for this is the lack of information and appreciation of these valuable Animal Genetic Resources, particularly by policy and decision makers, and especially their contribution to national economies. He mentioned that characterization, surveying and monitoring are key elements in the development of effective AnGR utilization and management plans. He hoped that the deliberations will contribute to improvements in the records and information on the unique and invaluable animal genetic resources Africa is endowed with. He affirmed the commitment of the Federal Republic of Tanzania and took the opportunity to express sincere gratitude to AU-IBAR for its support. He concluded by declaring the workshop opened and wished success in the deliberations.