Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
The meeting, being jointly organised by FARA, AU/NEPAD and the WorldFish Centre, will bring together about 40 participants representing African governments, research institutions, civil society organisations and private sector enterprise in fisheries and aquaculture. International organisations and donor representatives are also expected to attend as observers.
The specific objectives of the meeting are :
To identify effective regional mechanisms for the planning and coordination of research and capacity strengthening projects under the AU-NEPAD Fisheries Action Plan with the active participation of stakeholders.
To identify existing science and training capacity in relevant research areas at country and sub-regional level and identify mechanisms for linking these to demand for research and capacity strengthening in the region.
To strengthen the role of FARA and its constituencies to coordinate research and capacity strengthening programs in support of the Action Plan, with appropriate links to wider agricultural research networks.
To identify strategic areas for support that will strengthen regional exchange of knowledge and technologies and accelerate knowledge generation to overcome key development constraints.
Among the expected outputs of the meeting are :
Participation of Africa’s research constituency in the implementation of the Action Plan strengthened ;
Mechanisms agreed for coordinating an effective and efficient regional partnership on fisheries and aquaculture research in support of the Action Plan ;
Activities and action steps identified for taking this partnership towards program implementation, including identification of resource needs and support strategies ;
Recommendations adopted for dissemination and action by all stakeholders.
Following the meeting, AU/NEPAD, FARA and the WorldFish Centre will incorporate the outputs into the design of their on-going and planned programs. Additional discussions on specific research and capacity strengthening projects will be carried out with stakeholders at appropriate levels within the context of AU/NEPAD sub-regional and national compacts. This will be accompanied by joint resource mobilisation efforts.
Vital importance of fish
African Heads of State have pledged, through NEPAD, to meet a higher agriculture growth rate of 6% per year in order to make inroads into reducing poverty and malnutrition in the continent.
Achieving this will require substantially strengthened African agricultural innovation systems capable of sustainably delivering technologies and enabling policies required to raise the productivity of African agriculture. The instrument for achieving the required degree of attention, focus and commitment, is the AU-NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) has been mandated by the African Union to implement the research and capacity strengthening components of the CAADP, in particular activities under Pillar IV (agricultural research, technology dissemination and adoption) and in the cross-cutting areas of training and knowledge systems.
The African Union recognises the importance of fisheries and aquaculture in meeting the CAADP objectives.
The fish sector makes vital contributions to food and nutrition security of 200 million Africans and provides income for over 10 million engaged in fish production, processing and trade. Moreover, fish has become a leading export commodity for Africa, with an annual export value of US$ 2.7bn.
These benefits are at risk as the exploitation of natural fish stocks is reaching limits and aquaculture production has not yet fulfilled its potential. Strategic investments are needed urgently to safeguard the future contribution of Africa’s fish sector to poverty alleviation and regional economic development.
Broadly, investment is needed to (i) improve the management of natural fish stocks, (ii) develop aquaculture production, and (iii) enhance fish trade in domestic, regional and global markets. In support of this investment, capacity needs to be strengthened at regional and national level for research, technology transfer and policy development.
In order to catalyse action in support of this sector, NEPAD carried out extensive regional consultations in the areas of inland fisheries, coastal and marine fisheries, and aquaculture, with technical support from the WorldFish Centre through its global Fish for All initiative.
These consultations generated an Africa-wide AU/NEPAD Action Plan for the Development of African Fisheries and Aquaculture that was finalised and adopted by the NEPAD Fish for All Summit in Abuja, Nigeria in August 2005.
The Action Plan identifies priority areas for investments in order to increase the contributions of the sector to sustainable economic growth and food security. In particular, efforts need to be targeted at :
Stabilising and where possible increasing production and value from capture fisheries in inland and coastal and marine waters ;
Accelerating the development of sustainable aquaculture in Africa ;
Harnessing the benefits of expanding markets for fish and fish products in the region and internationally ;
Strengthening governance, management and regional cooperation in the sector.
In all these areas, the Action Plan emphasises the importance of research and capacity strengthening as areas of investments over the coming years.
Under their AU mandate, FARA will coordinate and facilitate these components of the Action Plan, building on existing networks and structures and strengthening these to respond to the specific opportunities arising from the fisheries and aquaculture sector. Through its partnership with AU/NEPAD, the WorldFish Centre will provide further technical support to this process.
Source : nepad news - october 27, 2006