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Seychelles to Host first Africa focused Fisheries Summit

Seychelles to Host first Africa focused Fisheries Summit

The 1st Africa Fisheries and Aquaculture Summit is an annual event that sets 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 and turning it into a viable business model. It is a platform that draws its aims and objectives from the recent Conference of African Ministers of Fisheries & Aquaculture (CAMFA) which was held in The Gambia in September 2010 and seeks to support national efforts by aligning the private sector investments in order to strengthen the sustainability of the industry.

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. Therefore, 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” said the Summit Director Mr Mr Moses Mwanjirah from Events Management Company Ikapa media, who are organising the event

The rationale of the summit is simple: To ensure the viability, sustainability and profitability of Africa’s vital fisheries for generations to come.

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 (especially MDG 1).
  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% of the protein intake in Sub-Saharan Africa. In some countries fish provides greater than 60% of the protein. Fishing provides between 6 and 9 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 US$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.

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” said Peter Sinon Minister of Investment, Natural Resources and Industry in The Seychelles

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. The last five years has seen a lot of activity from many players including the AU, encouraging  national Governments to align fisheries into the mainstream national strategic plans. This has begun to bear fruit with the continent seeing  Regional Economic Communities organising themselves to integrate their fisheries sectors through action oriented plans and implementation units. A good example is WARFP – West Africa Regional Fisheries Programme.

Expected to attend the event is African ministers from 10 -15 countries, business and private sector  executives, academic institutions, NGO’s, REC’s, Inter-governmental agencies, buyers and sellers from the sector and more. The President of Seychelles Mr 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.

Preparations for the summit are at an advanced stage with support coming from the Natural resources institute -NRI, PAF – the Partnership for African Fisheries and DBSA. To augment preparations for the Summit, PAF is hosting the  African Fisheries and Aquaculture Investment group meeting, 27- 28  June 2011 , to explore mechanisms for expanding investment in the fisheries private sector,  in Johannesburg.

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