Dr. David Balikowa, on behalf of the East African Commission (EAC), has urged for "private sector development and the elimination of bottlenecks in the value chains to unleash the full potential of the African Aquaculture sector."
The opening day of The Aquaculture Network for Africa 2nd General Congress, which happened yesterday, included more remarkable highlights that we will detail below.
In addition, Balikowa further emphasized "the need to address challenges such as the lack of information and the absence of quality fish feed and fingerlings for the aquaculture sector to thrive."
On the other hand, FAO’s Fisheries Officer, Dr. Dismas Mbabazi said: "Representing FAO, Dr. Mbabazi recognized the vital role ANAF plays in inland fisheries and aquaculture. He highlighted the alignment of ANAF's objectives with FAO's mission, emphasizing a commitment to supporting rules of procedures and fostering a shared vision with the African Union."
AU-IBAR also informed about the observations of its Director, Dr. Huyam Salih: "The network received official endorsement from African Ministers at a meeting in Addis Ababa, officially recognized by the African Union as a dedicated network supporting aquaculture development in Africa."
"The funding for the Second General Congress meeting is exclusively provided through contributions from AU member states, marking a substantial milestone in ANAF's journey," she added.
Finally, AU-IBAR highlighted that representing the Kenyan Government, Lucy Ogungo, Director of Fisheries opened the meeting and noted "the critical need for skills and technology in aquaculture. She reiterated Kenya's commitment to creating an enabling environment for sustainable aquaculture and implored member states to embark on this journey."
ANAF, conceived as a stand-alone continental institution, aims to provide technical backing and facilitation to the African aquaculture subsector. The recent endorsement by African Ministers in Addis Ababa solidifies ANAF as the African Union-recognized Network supporting aquaculture development in Africa.
As ANAF charts its course for the future, the General Assembly sets the stage for transformative efforts in African aquaculture. The commitment of key stakeholders, including governments, international organizations, and regional bodies, highlights the urgency and importance of sustainable aquaculture in ensuring food security, alleviating poverty, and fostering economic development across the continent. The collaborative spirit showcased during the opening remarks reflects a shared vision for a thriving and sustainable aquaculture sector in Africa.