The African union Think Tank met from the 18th to the 22nd of January in Dakar, Senegal, to reflect on the contribution of African Small scale fisheries to food security, poverty reduction and economic growth in the continent.
Accounting for more than 60 % of Africa’s fisheries production with almost all the catches meant for human consumption, the African Small scale fisheries provide significant employment and income for poor rural communities. However, the lack of skilled traditional fishers and the lack of effective management in the marine and inland small scale fisheries not only prevent these fishers to access more lucrative sectors of the economy, but also constitute a major bottleneck to the development and implementation of policies and good governance for many African governments.
The main objective of the Think Tank revolved around the experience sharing on the past and ongoing interventions in the sector and the development of strategies and action plans to improve governance and management of Small Scale Fisheries in the context of the Malabo declaration, on accelerated agriculture growth and transformation including fisheries and aquaculture, for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods.
Experts from African Union member states, the regional economic communities, Non States and private sector actors, Women’s Group Representatives and Development Partners were duly represented.
All FCWC members States as well as the Secretariat of the Committee were present, due to the high interest of the topic and their full concern about small scale fisheries sector management and improvement.
The meeting identified priority actions, strategic activities and formulated a pan African action plan draft for enhancing governance in small-scale fisheries consistent with the policy framework and reform strategy for fisheries and aquaculture in Africa, including strengthening bilateral and regional cooperation for effective management of shared fishery resources and ecosystems in small-scale fisheries.