A consultative Think Tank meeting on enhancing the governance of small-scale fisheries in Africa took place in Dakar, Senegal, from the 18th to 22nd January 2016. The Meeting was jointly organized by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) and the Government of Senegal, with support from the European Union. The overall objective of the meeting was the formulation of a Pan African Plan of Action for enhanced governance of the small-scale fisheries to ensure increased contribution to food and nutritional security, poverty alleviation and economic growth consistent with the Malabo Declaration that called for action on transformation of African agriculture by 2025.
The meeting was attended by 103 participants including 49 African Union member states, 7 Regional Economic Communities, representatives of Regional Fisheries Bodies, Water Basin Commissions, Non-state actors, women groups, youth and development partners, experts and African Union staff.
Dr. Rebecca Metzner, Chief, - Policy, Economics and Institutions Branch, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO, in her opening statement expressed gratitude to the African Union for the invitation to participate and the opportunity given to FAO to interact and share information on FAO activities with stakeholders. She highlighted the importance of the small-scale subsector and acknowledged the role of an upcoming new generation of fisheries leadership in Africa.
Dr. Simplice Nouala, Chief Animal Production Officer, AU-IBAR, on behalf of the H.E the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, and the Commissioner for the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Senegal for their magnanimity in accepting to host this pan-African event, which is a true reflection of the country’s commitment to the aspiration of the African Union. He underscored the important of implementing the relevant provisions of the policy framework and reform strategy for fisheries and aquaculture in Africa in meeting the objectives of the Malabo declaration on African agriculture transformation agenda for 2025, specifically in regard to food security and poverty alleviation.
The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Moustapha Ly, representing, His Excellency, the Hon. Minister for fisheries and maritime economy in Senegal, Mr. Omar Gueye and on behalf of His Excellency the President of Senegal, Mr. Macky Sall, welcomed the participants to Dakar, and thanked AU-IBAR for the choice of Senegal to host this important African Union event. He appreciated the initiatives of the AU-IBAR particularly in regard to the implementation of the Malabo declaration on poverty and hunger eradication, boosting food security and lauded the effort towards formulating a continental plan of action for the development of the small-scale fisheries.
The main outcomes of the workshop were:
- Lessons and best practices on governance of Small Scale Fisheries in Africa were collected and promoted.
- Practical constraints (institutional and technical) and possible solutions identified for ecosystem-based approaches and co-management in small-scale fisheries in Africa.
- Priority actions identified to improve/enhance the contribution of Small scale Fisheries to the agricultural transformation agenda of the African Union.
- Strategic Partnership developed and proposed at national level (member state), Regional and sub-regional level (Regional Economic Community & Regional Fishery Body) with technical & development partners.