The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) participated in the 27th Session of African Commission on Agricultural Statistics (AFCAS) on 15 -18 November 2021, online.
AFCAS brings together senior statistics officials from FAO member countries in Africa, who are responsible for the development of agricultural statistics in their respective countries. They review and exchange ideas on the state of food and agricultural statistics in the continent and advise member countries on the development of their agricultural statistical systems.
The FCWC Secretariat represented by Abena Asante, presented challenges in the region, including: limited human and financial resources available for data collection; weak capacity in fish stocks assessments, fish identification, bio data collection and analysis; and inadequate outreach and training in fisheries reporting requirements and statistics.
Also Mrs Abena shared the FCWC key achèvement in data collection and sharing in the region which includes: the publication of 22 fisheries fact sheets; a closer relationship between FAO statisticians and country focal points; the completion of a needs assessment; and the completion of data collection training in the countries leading to the adoption of e-reporting and establishment of a harmonized system for fish catch and effort data.
The 27th Session recommended that member countries: pursue an open data and transparent approach by publishing all their data online to improve access, increase utilization and reduce respondent burden; introduce alternative modalities like virtual capacity building and remote data collection; and engage with new data science methods.