2nd ANAF General Assembly: Key Highlights from Opening Remarks

Tue, 16-01-2024 15:00:00

NAIVASHA, Kenya - Jan 15, 2024

The 2nd General Assembly Congress of Aquaculture for Africa (ANAF) commenced in Naivasha, Kenya, marking a key moment for the continent's aquaculture sector. With over a hundred delegates, including Representatives of Member States of The African Union; Regional Economic Communities; FAO and Development Partners; Regional Fisheries Bodies, Water basin Authorities and Regional Fisheries Projects; Regional Sea Conventions; AU Centres of Excellence in Fisheries and Aquaculture (AU-COEs); Continental and Regional Nonstate Actors, networks and platforms, the assembly aims to address critical challenges and propel sustainable aquaculture development.


Key Highlights from Opening Remarks:
ANAF Interim Chair Mr. Belemane Semoli (South Africa): Mr. Semoli underscored the global significance of aquaculture, acknowledging its impact on 600 million livelihoods worldwide. He emphasized the belief in partnerships to leverage strengths, expressing confidence in ANAF's network to meet shared aspirations.

Director of AU-IBAR, Dr. Huyam Salih: Dr. Salih highlighted a noteworthy accomplishment for ANAF. She observed that recently, 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. She further highlighted that the Secretariat for ANAF is established at AU-IBAR and noted that 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.

FAO’s Fisheries Officer, Dr. Dismas Mbabazi: 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. He further emphasized ANAF's objectives, aligning seamlessly with FAO's mission of achieving more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agrifood systems.

EAC's Dr. David Balikowa: Speaking on behalf of the East African Commission (EAC), Dr. Balikowa highlighted the strategic importance of the Great Lakes region in aquaculture. He urged for private sector development and the elimination of bottlenecks in the value chains to unleash the full potential of the sector. David 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.

Kenya Representation Ms. Lucy Ogungo: Representing the Kenyan Government, Lucy Ogungo, Director of Fisheries officially opened the meeting and emphasized 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's Transformative Vision:
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.