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Africa to Establish Centers of Excellence for Fisheries & Aquaculture

Sustainability Politics

AFRICA - The African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is considering the establishment of centers of excellence for fisheries and aquaculture across the continent.

An expert consultative meeting on a roadmap for establishing African centres of excellence for fisheries and aquaculture and on strengthening fish trade information systems has been held in Zanzibar, Tanzania, reports GhanaWeb.

Opening the workshop, the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries, Zanzibar, Dr Hamad Rashid Mohammed, stressed the need to turn around Africa’s fortunes in the area of fisheries governance and management.

He said: “Enough of the exploitation of the continent’s marine resources by people other than ourselves. Tanzania has entered into trade agreements with about 86 vessels but none of them are owned by an African country.”

He also suggested that financial institutions consider financing the fisheries sector, which is usually ignored. Africa continues to suffer from a paucity of qualified personnel both at senior management levels and intermediate levels.

This is partly as a result of limited or weak institutions for training or research that would inform the sector’s governance.

The limited numbers of professional institutions, especially for intermediate staff, have serious implications for employment of African in both fishing and aquaculture industry. At the senior level, the near derelict institutions for research or training of high-level managers is a recipe for poor governance and lack of informed decision making.

In his opening remarks the director of AU-IBAR Dr. Simplice Nuoala was emphatic, the center would address the challenges of poor fisheries governance.

“The objective of this workshop is to develop a realistic roadmap for establishing the centres of excellence for strengthening the capacity of the continent for improved management and development of its fisheries and aquaculture resources to ensure increased sustainable contribution to food security, poverty alleviation and economic growth,” he indicated.