The African Fisheries Reform Mechanism (AFRM) Revised Fisheries Governance and Aquaculture Working Groups met on the 23rd and 24th of January 2023 at the Safir Hotel in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt. The African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) convened the meeting in partnership with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt as part of phase two of the European Union-funded Fisheries Governance Project (FishGov 2).
The workshop was attended by 44 participants representing the following institutions: Ministers and Representatives from the AU Member States; Regional Economic Communities (RECs; Regional Fisheries Bodies; Continental Non state Actor Platforms; and the African Union Centers of Excellence.
The overarching goal was to promote increasing national investment in fisheries and aquaculture. The primary objective of the meeting was to integrate the conclusions of the newly formed AFRM Working Groups' initial meeting.
Specifically, the objectives of the meeting were to;
i. Review of the report on Mechanisms to Facilitate the Domestication of Global Instruments and Initiatives at Continental, Regional and National Levels
ii. Propose further insight or expert perspectives into effective mechanisms for domestications of Global Instruments
iii. Finalise the Production of knowledge products – four Policy Briefs;
iv. Reconvene the reconstituted Aquaculture Working Group of the AFRM;
Dr. Nick Nwankpa, acting director of AU-IBAR, gave the inaugural comments. He extended the best wishes of H.E. Amb. Josefa Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment. He thanked the Government and people of the Arab Republic of Egypt for hosting the meeting and for their gracious hospitality. Prof. Salah Aly, the Chair of Egypt's Lakes and Fish Resources Protection and Development Agency, delivered the opening comments on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation. He emphasised the significance of Egypt's fisheries and aquaculture. Prof. H. E. Abdul Azim Al Sharkawy, President of Suez University, formally opened the meeting.
Fisheries Officer at AU-IBAR, Mrs. Hellen Moepi-Guebama, facilitated a "Setting the Scene" session as part of the meeting's discussions. Guidelines for the production and publication of knowledge products were presented by Mrs. Patricia Lumba, Senior Knowledge Management Officer, AU-IBAR; and the African Union Fisheries Reform Mechanism's principles, objectives, and functions were presented by Dr. Mohamed Seisay, Senior Fisheries Management Expert, AU-IBAR.
The main session included the two working groups: The Governance Working Group and the Aquaculture Working Group, which debated on the policy briefs and gave technical input in accordance with the AU-IBAR-supplied policy brief writing criteria. The Governance Working Group examined knowledge outputs on fisheries and aquaculture governance issues pertaining to (i) identification and analysis of priority instruments for domestication, and (ii) mechanisms for successful involvement in global fora.
The Governance Working Group examined knowledge outputs on fisheries and aquaculture governance issues pertaining to (i) identification and analysis of priority instruments for domestication, and (ii) mechanisms for successful involvement in global fora. The Aquaculture Working Group was primarily concerned with the formulation of knowledge products on sustainable aquaculture development concerns, namely two policy notes on I Fish Seed Production for Sustainable Aquaculture Development in Africa and (ii) Tilapia farming. NAFIRI's Dr. Winnie Nkalubo provided a presentation on Cage Culture Systems in Africa to aid in the formulation of the policy brief.
The meeting endorsed the four policy briefs contingent on their incorporation of the meeting's comments. The meeting supported the following material of the policy briefs for further consideration by the AFRM advisory council:
a. Sustainable Cage Aquaculture for food security and profit in Africa.
b. Tilapia Farming: Adapting Egypt Success to the rest of Africa.
c. priority instruments for domestication in African Union Member States for improved fisheries governance.
d. Mechanism for the domestication of global instruments.
The compilation work on the policy briefs is being led by the African Union Centres of Excellence that comprise: Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, University of Cape Coast (Ghana); Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience at the (ACECOR) at the University of Cape Coast (Ghana); National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI), Uganda; Rhodes University (South Africa), University of Ibadan, Nigeria; University of Suez, Egypt; Central Laboratory for Aquaculture Research (CLAR), Egypt; Académie Régionale des Sciences et Techniques de la Mer (ARSTM), Cote D’Ivoire, L'Agence Gabonaise d'Etudes et d'Observation spatiale (AGEOS) in Gabon; Independent attendees also included fisheries and aquaculture experts, and Technical Partners; namely: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Worldfish and GIZ- Western Indian Ocean Governance Initiative (GIZ-WIOGI), ICCAT and AU-IBAR staff members. Institut des Arts et métiers nautique de limbe (LINAFI), (Cameroon).
Publications on fisheries and Aquaculture are available in the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Blue Economy repository
Above: Delegates at the AFRM Working Group Meeting in Cairo, Egypt