The workshop, on establishing an Electronic Fish Market Information system (EFMIS) for Eastern and Central Africa, was organized in Kigali, the Capital City of Rwanda, by the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) with support from the European Union (EU). The meeting took place from the 3rd to 5th December 2018.
The workshop was attended by 30 participants, including Representatives of AU member states (Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania,); Representatives of Regional Economic communities (EAC, ECCAS, IGAD); Regional fisheries bodies and organizations (COREP, LFVO, IGAD and CEBEVIRHA); Independent Experts, Representatives of Non-State Actors and Women Organizations; and African Union (AUC and AU-IBAR staff).
Speech by the Director, AU-IBAR
While officially opening the workshop on behalf of the AU-IBAR Director, Dr. Mohamed Seisay welcomed all participants to the workshop and gave a brief background and objectives of the workshop.
Dr. Seisay Expressed profound gratitude and appreciation to the Government of Rwanda for the opportunity accorded to African Union to conduct this workshop in the Country.
He reminded the participants that the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa identifieda major policy area on Responsible and Equitable Fish Trade and Marketing, which aimed at harnessing significantly the benefits of Africa’s fisheries and aquaculture endowments through accelerated trade and marketing. The identification of this crucial policy area was partly informed by the observation that though trade plays a major role in the fishing industry as a creator of employment, food supplier, income generator, and contributor to economic growth and development in several African countries, many African Union Member States still face several constraints in improving their fish trade and marketing sector. Some of the constraints include: Poor infrastructure and insufficient facilitation, the introduction of market-related measures such as eco-labelling and related certification process, private standards for environmental and social purposes which are increasingly becoming hindrance to African fish and fish products accessing lucrative markets.