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First Africa Fisheries And Aquaculture Summit

SEYCHELLES - The Seychelles is to host the first ever Africa Fisheries and Aquaculture Summit in November 2011.

The aim of the summit is to ensure the viability, sustainability and profitability of Africa’s vital fisheries for generations to come, according to NEPAD.

The summit also hopes to create a platform that brings together various fisheries and aquaculture experts and practitioners from Africa to look at sustainable ways that will strengthen the industry as a whole, turning it into a viable business model.

“The fisheries and aquaculture Industry remains marginalised from the mainstream national economic development plans and we feel that this must change,” said Dr Sloans Chimatiro, NEPAD Agency Senior Fisheries Advisor, after endorsing the event.

“Fisheries and aquaculture play a critical role in the economic development of the continent and the sector has enormous wealth-creation potential, only if requisite policies and programmes are put in place.”

Summit Director Moses Mwanjirah, from Ikapa media, which is organising the event, added: “The summit will create a platform that will connect both the private sector and public sector to work together in strengthening the Industry as a whole.”

The Fisheries Summit aims to highlight three areas:

  1. Why Fisheries and Aquaculture matter to the development agenda for Africa.
  2. To show that by making carefully targeted investments in the fisheries and aquaculture sector we can make substantial contribution to the Millennium Development Goals.
  3. The Summit marks a turning point in recognising the true value and importance of African fisheries and aquaculture and strengthens our commitment to respond to the business opportunities they provide.

Today, more than 200 million Africans eat fish regularly and the FAO estimates that fish provides 22 per cent of the protein intake in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Fishing provides between six and nine million full and part time jobs and the income from fishing supports 30-45 million people. Of this number, many are women involved in fish processing and trade who lead single-headed households. For them fish is the primary and sometimes the only source of income to support their livelihood and their children.

Fisheries generate export revenue to the value of $4.3 billion, one of the leading sources of export revenue on the continent.

With these facts and more, the summit could not have come at a better time.

Minister of Investment, Natural Resources and Industry in the Seychelles, Peter Sinon, said, “I welcome the proposal for the Conference to be held in Seychelles in November - it would be an honour and pleasure for us to welcome all delegates and invited guests.”

The Summit will be one of Africa’s biggest events of the year especially for the Fisheries sector, an Industry that has remained informal, unregulated and neglected by many African governments for many decades.

Expected to attend the event is African ministers from 10 to 15 countries, business and private sector executives, academic institutions, NGOs, RECs, inter-governmental agencies, buyers and sellers from the sector and more.

The President of Seychelles, James Michel, is expected to officially open and launch this historic event. More than 300 delegates are also expected to attend. The summit will see the opening of the AFEX (Africa fisheries Expo) with more than 30 exhibition stands available.

The Summit will be held in Mahe on 27 to 29 November 2011. For more information on the Summit or to register, click here.

the Fish Site Editor

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