The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) in partnership with the Government of Benin, and with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) organized a three-day combined regional seminar to learn from on-going aquaculture projects and to identify ways of supporting the development of inland aquaculture in West Africa, from 3rd to 5 March 2020, at Golden Tulip hotel in Cotonou, Benin.
The seminars brought together key players from Benin’s public and private sector as well as representatives from Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, and the six Member States of the FCWC, to proactively discuss their experiences and views on the different stages of aquaculture development in their nations.
In his opening address at the meeting, FCWC Secretary-General Seraphin Dedi stated that the quality and diversity of the participants testified to the interest in the theme of aquaculture development in West Africa. “Our objective at the level of the FCWC, shared by JICA, is to create or reinforce the conditions of a permanent exchange between the private and the public actors,” he added during his speech on the third day of the seminar.
A review of the JICA-funded PROVAC projects in Cameroon, Togo, and Benin; countries and development partners experiences in inland aquaculture development and promotion; investment strategies of private sector actors; and the ECOWAS regional strategy were discussed to design a dedicated strategy for aquaculture development FCWC’s member States.
Key recommendations from the meeting included: extending PROVAC to countries that are yet to be covered; continuing reflections on financing mechanisms tailored for fish farmers;
strengthening the coordination of aquaculture development actions at the level of all member countries; and continuing the professionalization of actors to facilitate their access to funding opportunities.