The FCWC participated in two back-to-back meetings to strengthen institutional coordination and collaboration in fisheries and aquaculture in Africa from 25-28 October in Rabat, Morocco.
The first was a stakeholder workshop from 25-26 October 2022 to validate a framework for institutional linkages, a product of a study by the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI). NaFIRRI was contracted by the African Union Inter-Bureau of Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) to conduct a study to ensure that fisheries and aquaculture in Africa are coordinated and coherent at continental, regional and national levels in order to maintain healthy, productive and resilient marine, coastal and freshwater ecosystems. An interim report under the consultancy has been developed and was presented to the stakeholders for validation.
The second was the Fifth General Assembly and Bi-Annual Meeting of the Africa Platform for Regional Institutions in Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Systems (APRIFAAS) from 27-28 October 2022. The Fifth General Assembly Meeting of APRIFAAS was hosted by the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean (ATLAFCO), AU-IBAR, and the Africa Union Development Agency – New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD). under the theme “Enhancing Institutional Collaboration for Effective and Sustainable Regional Fisheries Management and Aquaculture Development.” The meeting focused on the exchange of information among regional institutions, i.e. Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs) and Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs), etc., improving dialogue among stakeholders, operationalization of the APRIFAAS Web platform/Community of Practice, and strengthening the African voice in international fora.
Participants at the end of the meeting endorsed the report by NaFiRRI, calling for stronger and focused linkages among the regional institutions to achieve institutional objectives while leveraging their synergies and reducing duplications. Participants recognised and agreed to engage one another towards strengthening the African voice to secure the interests of the continent at the global level. A new organisation, “Intergovernmental Organization for Marketing Information and Cooperation Service for Fishery Products in Africa (INFOPECHE)”, was accepted as a member of APRIFAAS. The participants of both meetings included representatives from regional fisheries institutions, regional economic communities, regional sea conventions, international development partners, experts and other key stakeholders in fisheries and aquaculture, as observers.