Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa. May 2014
AU-IBAR, Dr. Sloans Chimatiro; Dr. Simplice Nouala; Dr. Mohamed Seisay AUC, NEPAD
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Africa has diverse fish resources with immense potential and opportunities for contributing significantly to the socio-economic growth of Africa and improving livelihoods of its citizens. It is for this reason that the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was adjusted to include the Companion Document on Fisheries. In 2005, Abuja, Nigeria, during the AU/NEPAD Fish For All Summit, the African Heads of State and Governments (HSG) endorsed the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Action Plan for the Development of African Fisheries and Aquaculture. Prior to the Abuja Summit, and during their February 2004 Sirte Summit, the Heads of State and Government, endorsed the Sirte Declaration which mandated the AU Commission to promote the development of fisheries resources, improve facilities to promote post-harvest management, including fisheries management in the Exclusive Economic Zones and regional cooperation in fisheries management. Further to this, during the Abuja Food Security Summit in December 2006, the HSG endeavoured to protect fish as one of the strategic commodities and affirmed their commitment to attain self-sufficiency in fish by 2015. The major milestone in the development of African fish sector came in September 2010, when the first Conference of African Ministers of Fisheries and Aquaculture (CAMFA) was held in Banjul, The Gambia. The CAMFA was subsequently endorsed by the 18th Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State, in 2011, as the policy organ responsible for fisheries and aquaculture, within the Conference of African Ministers of Agriculture (CAMA).
DescriptionThis Policy Framework laid down the guiding principles for the strategy, namely (i) increasing fisheries and aquaculture productivity, (ii) improving profitability of fish enterprises, (iii) enhancing sustainability, (iv) wealth generation, (v) social welfare, nutrition and food security, and (vi) regional collaborative management and strengthening south-south cooperation as well as the “African Voice” on international policy dialogue which has implications for African fisheries governance. The final CAFRS and APFS – which have been brought together in a single document, now called the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa, were validated in November 2012 at a Think Tank Event in Douala, Cameroon. Regular Think Tank Events or Participatory Policy Dialogues have characterised the process of developing the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy to ensure that the final product was needs- and evidence-based and also engendered ownership amongst stakeholders.