African Congress bets on environmental management for sustainable aquaculture development

The assembly gathered 113 representatives from 49 African Union Member States, Regional Economic Communities, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and various regional institutions and non-state actors
The Blue Food Assessment initiative has identified 17 environmental stressors threatening the quantity and quality of blue food production worldwide.

The Blue Food Assessment initiative has identified 17 environmental stressors threatening the quantity and quality of blue food production worldwide.

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The 2nd General Assembly of the Aquaculture Network for Africa (ANAF) that took place from January 15 to 17, 2024, at Lake Naivasha Resort in Naivasha, Kenya has been a success.

According to the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), that organized the event in collaboration with the Government of Kenya, the aim was to update members on ANAF activities, discuss governance instruments, and enhance awareness of environmental management for sustainable aquaculture development.

Participation and Opening Session

AU-IBAR informed that the assembly saw participation from a diverse group of stakeholders, including AU Member States, regional institutions, non-state actors, and development partners.

Also, the opening session featured remarks from key figures, including Dr. Huyam Salih, Director of AU-IBAR, Mr. Belemane Semoli, the Chair of ANAF, and representatives from FAO and the East African Community.

In more detail, Dr. Salih emphasized the progress made since ANAF's transfer to AU-IBAR in 2018, highlighting successful activities and the official endorsement of ANAF as an AU Network in November 2023.

On the other side, Mr. Semoli stressed the importance of aquaculture in addressing food security, economic development, and job creation, particularly in the context of the Blue Economy.

Finally, representatives from FAO expressed commitment to supporting ANAF and outlined the alignment of ANAF's objectives with FAO's mission.

Meeting Proceedings

According to AU-IBAR, key presentations covered topics such as aquaculture knowledge products, the role of ANAF in the Blue Economy, guidelines for aquaculture business planning, environmental and biosecurity management, and the development of a strategic action plan. 

Meeting Outcomes

During the assembly, a new Bureau and Steering Committee was elected and the awareness of ANAF rules and procedures was one of the main consequences that were drawn.

A draft Strategic Action Plan was also developed and it was also discussions on aquaculture development, providing insights into the current status, challenges, and opportunities across African countries.

Closing of the Meeting

AU-IBAR concluded that the 2nd ANAF General Assembly marked "a significant step towards advancing sustainable aquaculture in Africa, fostering collaboration, and addressing key challenges in the sector. The outcomes and recommendations provide a roadmap for ANAF's continued efforts to promote responsible and inclusive aquaculture development on the continent."

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