Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
Since time immemorial, fish has played an important role in the life of Africans. Archaeological finds in Egypt have shown paintings dating to the Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 BC) and Late Kingdom (712-332 BC) of men using fishing rods. Thousands of years later, fish continues to be central to Africa’s needs.
Currently Africa produces approximately 7 million tons of fish each year. Of this approximately 4 million tons is harvested from oceans and seas, and around 3 million tons comes from lakes, rivers and flood plains (also known as inland fisheries). This fish sector makes vital contributions to almost 200 million Africans who depend on fish for their food and nutritional requirements.
While 3 million fishers and 120,000 fish farmers are directly involved in producing fish, an additional 7 million people rely on the sector as processors, traders and employed in other industries allied to fisheries. Recently, fish has become a leading export commodity for some African countries, with an annual export value of US$ 2.7bn.
However, there are concerns that these benefits are at risk as the production of fish from oceans, seas, lakes and rivers is reaching limits. Furthermore, despite decades of technical and financial support, Africa has made little progress in fish farming as compared to Asia.
Source : NEPAD, 24 AOÛT 2007