As part of efforts geared towards the promotion of fisheries and aquaculture, with regards to its management, trade and processes of certification in the Gulf of Guinea, , organisers of the ongoing Summit on Fisheries and Aquaculture, NEPAD Agency Nigeria and the NEPAD Continental Office, South Africa, yesterday at the National Secretariat of Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), Lagos, sued for the collaboration of all stakeholder organisations at the Summit, stressing the need to maximise involvement and improvement in the sector in order to make for job-creation and economic growth on the African continent.
The above collaboration, which is in line with the vision of the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Agency Nigeria, Princess Gloria Akobundu, to reposition the Agency to coordinate and drive all the programmes of NEPAD Continental Office here in Nigeria, shall witness the active participation and involvement of such stakeholder organisations as the Nigerian Trawlers’ Owners Association(NITOA), the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON); the Department of Fisheries of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture; the University of Lagos; Lagos State University as well as the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology.
Also, part of the collaboration are the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research and the African Eco-Labelling Mechanism (AEM). Others include African Standards Organisation(ARSO); the Federal Ministry of Water Resources as well as the Food and Agricultural Organisation(FAO) of the United Nations; ECOWAS and others.
With the above collaboration, it is expected that the business of fisheries and marine Resources in Africa shall move towards achieving the necessary certification standards that will truly make it a major contributor to livelihoods of African families, aid food security and, ultimately, shore up the GDPs of African countries in line with the target and aspiration of the African Union’s Policy Framework and Reform Strategy (AU-PFRS) for fisheries and aquaculture in Africa, which recognises the importance of fish trade in food security and livelihoods.
If the outcomes of the Summit can be tenaciously pursued and implemented, according to Princess Gloria Akobundu , the NEPAD Nigeria CEO and a major player in the events of the five days during which the Summit would last, African fish trade will in no time acquire the necessary eco-labelling and related certifications that would enable it take part in major seafood purchases and trade in the international markets. Apart from the above, there will also be in place an improved mechanism for the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources in Africa through good management and responsible fish trade links with other parts of the world.
As it is, for the above to be successfully emplaced, the African Union, through the platform of the NEPAD Agency in Midrand, South Africa, hopes to, through various Summits and activities that will be organised in collaboration with some NEPAD Country Offices across the continent, with funding from the European Union, strengthen institutional capacities to improve governance of the fisheries sector in Africa, including capacity-building for market access, which, as in the ending Summit in Lagos, Nigeria, will be achieved through capacity-building of African Union Member States to improve fisheries for eco-labelling certification.
The Lagos, Nigeria, Summit, an eye-opener of some sort for many participants in the programme and stakeholder organisations in fisheries and marine resources, is one in a series of three Summits scheduled to be held in the Gulf of Guinea countries of Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon. The Summit is expected to wind up today, July the 15th.
July 15, 2017