A £6-million, five-year programme — the International Partnership for Africa’s Fisheries Governance and Trade (PAF) — which aims to optimise Africa’s benefit from the fish trade, has been approved by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and will be coordinated by the NEPAD Secretariat.
PAF is currently in its inception phase, the aim of which is to reach a consensus with partners, including governments, private sector, NGOs, civil society organisations, donors, fishers and fish farmers, on the most viable partnership necessary to implement the action plan.
The NEPAD Secretariat hosted a stakeholder consultation in Johannesburg on 5-6 November 2008 to begin the process.
The meeting was attended by a range of stakeholders including departments of fisheries from African member states, DFID, World Bank, NORAD, NGOs, civil society organisations, the DBSA, foundations, and the private sector.
The stakeholder consultation comes at a time of negative perceptions of fishing and fisheries — depleted stocks, illegal fishing, over capacity, a fishery sector failing to deliver on creating growth and wealth, providing jobs, providing fish for consumption and trade, and managing the environment in an acceptable manner.
While policy has been developed internationally and regionally and governments are working to implement this nationally, and while programmes and projects are having successes across Africa, the overall impact of the sector on meeting development objectives is still falling short of its potential.
The NEPAD Abuja Fish for All Summit in 2005 brought together African leaders and a wide range of people working with fisheries to address the challenges of fisheries governance in order to improve returns on trade in fish and fisheries products, but to date progress on implementing the proposed actions has been sporadic and fragmented.
The answers to these and other problems are not simple, but the recent success of the Stop Illegal Fishing programmes policy process that culminated in the 4 July 2008 Windhoek SADC Statement of Commitment to Stop Illegal Fishing has paved the way for a new and inclusive process that shows promise.
The process over less than one year involved a wide range of players including industry, civil society, governments, inter-governmentals, NGO’s, projects and donors to develop a momentum that led to a political commitment that resulted in over 10 separate actions within two months of the Statement being signed.
These included illegal vessels being arrested, licence conditions being changed, licences being revoked and cooperation against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing being implemented regionally.
Now the NEPAD Secretariat with support from DFID is involved in an attempt to improve the strategic approach to implementing regional fishery policy through a coherent partnership.
This process aims to define the overall strategy and to identify the key African and international regional and country partners that will form the partnership so that it can be effective for advancing and implementing policies that promote the development of fishery agendas in Africa.
The meeting in Johannesburg debated a variety of issues and reached consensus, including :
The need and functions of the international partnership in African fisheries ; The aims and outcomes of the partnership ; The range of partners to participate in PAF ; How to monitor the success of the partnership ; The early actions/priorities ; Modalities on the funding of the partnership. Commitment of support to PAF was also expressed by Stefan Flothman of the PEW Foundation and Michael Arbuckle, the World Bank senior fisheries specialist.
The meeting was officially opened by NEPAD Acting Chief Executive, Amb. Olukorede Willoughby, who commended DFID for its support to PAF in addition to the assistance it is rendering to the overall CAADP partnership.
The Senior Fisheries Adviser for DFID, Tim Bostock, then reaffirmed DFID’s commitment to the African-led fisheries development agenda through NEPAD. Source : november 7, 2008
3-14 November : NEPAD/GTZ train-the-trainer workshop for French-speaking journalists in West Africa, Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire.
5-7 November : Zambia stakeholders engagement towards launching NEPAD implementation structures, Lusaka, Zambia.
6-7 November : NEPAD-CAADP media sensitisation workshop, Midrand, South Africa.
1-5 December : CGIAR annual general meeting 2008 — Investing in agricultural science : the best bet for the future, Maputo, Mozambique.
4-5 December : Regional stakeholder engagement workshop, Midrand, South Africa. Source : november 7, 2008
Experts from the NEPAD Secretariat and the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development, gathered in Abuja on 28 October 2008 for a national dialogue on issues relating to the environment, focusing specifically on deforestation and desertification.
The Special Adviser on NEPAD to the Nigerian President, Amb. Tunji Olagunju, said the environment has been identified as one of the core priority initiatives of NEPAD.
"NEPAD Nigeria further recognises that a key objective of the environment initiative must be to combat poverty and contribute to socio-economic development of the country,” Ambassador Olagunju said.
“It also recognises that the range of issues necessary to nurture this environment base is vast and complex and that a systematic combination of initiatives is necessary to develop a coherent environmental programme.”
The Minister of Environment, Housing and Urban Development, Halima Tayo Alao, said : "The gathering of experts at this national dialogue, jointly organised by NEPAD and my Ministry, is a manifestation of our unrelenting commitment to partner with all stakeholders and development partners.
"We are gathered here to map out effective strategies to surmount the myriad environmental problems slowing down the country’s march to achieve sustainable development and improve the livelihood of our people".
The Minister noted that the processes of deforestation and desertification are environmental challenges of great concern to the country and constitute a major barrier to meeting basic human needs.
"The environmental hazards of these twin problems though distinct provide mutual feedbacks and are far from being independent of each other. They consequently have similar implications and solutions.”
She said that deforestation in Nigeria is occurring at an unprecedented pace. "Nigeria loses around 410,000 hectares of forest per year which amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of close to 2.40%. The forests in northern Nigeria have almost disappeared, causing steady movement of the desert southwards.”
Chidindu Eze Ozo, Director, Policy Analysis Monitoring and Inspection at the Ministry said : "Without adequate concerted efforts to tackle the problems of deforestation and desertification on a greater scale, the dry land areas of the country could be at risk of ecological disaster.
“The Government is very conscious of the degenerating state of the environment in the desertification frontline areas and has adopted steps to ensure that a productive society is maintained.”
These steps include the national action programme (NAP), development of a national drought and desertification policy and national drought preparedness plan, national forestry policy and action plan and the national biodiversity action plan, among others.
NEPAD collaborating with State Government Following on the national dialogue in Abuja, the Kebbi State Coordinator of NEPAD, Dr. Isa Muhammed Sama disclosed measures being adopted by NEPAD and the State Government to cushion the effects of deforestation and desertification.
"NEPAD has embarked on some programmes, most especially sensitisation of the people on activities and how it can effectively communicate with people on the state’s initiatives. The national dialogue of stakeholders and development partners will enable us to project and cushion out the effects of deforestation," he told the Daily Trust newspaper.
Dr. Sama said NEPAD will collaborate with the Ministry of Environment on new policies and measures to combat desertification. As part of efforts to curb the threat, "we initiated a working group in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and people were drawn from different levels at the grassroots to assist. We started having workshops on health, agriculture and environment issues to keep people abreast of all their problems and ways to tackle them.”
He added that NEPAD has set up coordinators at local government levels and APRM desk officers in all the ministries.
Commending the State Government, the coordinator said that the state, through the Ministry of Environment, is addressing the problems of desertification by planting one million trees and seedlings.
The level of desertification in the state, he said, is not alarming compared to Sokoto where the problems are severe, adding that the Ministry is doing its best to curtail the extent of this threat.
"Awareness is one of the responsibilities of NEPAD and we liaise with the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Environment to get across to the people the dangers of desertification," he said. Source : november 7, 2008
NEPAD sectoral advisers, agricultural journalists and media representatives from across Africa gathered at NEPAD headquarters in Midrand, South Africa, on 6-7 November 2008 for a media sensitisation workshop related to reporting on issues within the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
The participants also included representatives of key partner agencies such as the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
CAADP - endorsed by the African Union and NEPAD in 2003 - is an Africa-led and Africa-owned initiative and framework to rationalise and revitalise African agriculture for economic growth and lasting poverty reduction.
The workshop was organised to act as a knowledge-sharing and learning session on reporting NEPAD-CAADP, said Prof. Richard Mkandawire, Head of Agriculture / CAADP at the NEPAD Secretariat.
"The idea was to interact with and facilitate the growth of agriculture journalism. The added aim was to contribute to the growth of journalists who are sensitive to the problems confronting African governments and publics in their attempts to respond to the rising food prices and to achieve sustainable agricultural-led economic growth," he added.
Participants at the workshop considered the ways in which NEPAD-CAADP and its activities in agriculture can be reported to show the relevance of these initiatives to their personal welfare and the broader development of Africa. Source : november 7, 2008
Permanent Secretaries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) met at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, on 30 October 2008 to discuss the issues affecting the region and faster implementation of SADC/NEPAD programmes.
The forum also discussed the outcome of the Tripartite Summit of COMESA, EAC and SADC held in Uganda on 21-22 October 2008 and the need to incorporate the decisions in its programme.
The Tripartite Summit agreed on a Council of Ministers to be convened within 12 months to determine the timeframe for the establishment of a single Free Trade Area (FTA) and the merger of the three Regional Economic Communities (RECs) into an African Economic Community.
It also provided a platform for the three RECs to map out the way forward in building a single and integrated regional economic community while spurring economic development in Africa.
The project seeks convergence of trade and investment regulations in the three RECs as well as the free movement of persons.
With an estimated GDP of $650 billion, the envisaged project also aims to harmonise the different customs unions and other trade-related issues that, because of the overlapping membership of member states, have posed a particular challenge.
"Other important issues noted by the forum relate to the need to foster cohesion, economic integration and regional infrastructure development among SADC countries," the South African Presidency said in a statement.
The meeting also resolved to ensure the implementation of SADC resolutions within the respective countries.
The secretariat was mandated to develop draft terms of reference for the forum and take into account the views and opinions of member countries of the SADC.
South Africa’s President Kgalema Montlanthe reminded the forum that they “represent the institutional memory of the SADC region.” He also reminded the forum of the need to develop a mechanism to fast-track progress in achieving the SADC objectives and goals. Source : november 7, 2008
It is with deep regret that we report the tragic death of NEPAD colleague, friend, brother and mentor Stephen Ekonge Nkabyo who passed away on 23 October 2008 from injuries sustained when he was hit by a car in Pretoria, South Africa.
Stephen was born on 3 November 1971 in Bamenda, Cameroon, the third of seven children of Paul and Mesame Nkabyo.
He became an American citizen while completing a Bachelor’s degree in business administration at Kennesaw State University (1999) and a Master’s degree in information technology at the American Intercontinental University, both in Atlanta, Georgia (2007).
He was the co-founder of the Bali Old Boys Association (BALI) in Atlanta and founded an education programme to help African undergraduates gain admission and scholarships to American universities.
He joined the NEPAD Secretariat in August 2007 as the Project Management System (NPMS) content manager and was an entrenched and passionate member of the NEPAD family.
His sudden passing has left us shaken and deeply saddened. He was known for his generous, caring, friendly and unassuming nature and leaves many loved and cherished family and friends behind.
He is survived by his grandmother, parents, siblings and three children, Allegra Zimi (13), Dejuan Michael (12) and Merwete Yibongka (4), to whom we extend our sympathy and condolences. Source : november 7, 2008