Revolutionizing the Small-Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture sector through strategic strengthening

Fri, 25-08-2023 15:00:00


A significant event occurred in Naivasha, Kenya, between August 14 and 17, 2023, that may have a lasting impact on the development of the small-scale aquaculture and fisheries in Africa. The Consultative Training Workshop on Strategic Planning for Regional Non-State Actors (NSAs) in Fisheries and Aquaculture was organised by the African Union's Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) as part of the European Union-funded Fisheries Governance Project (FishGov 2). The event, which aimed to provide local NSAs with the tools they need to guide positive change in this sector, set forth the following overarching objectives:

•    Assist regional NSA platforms in formalizing and registering with relevant authorities.
•    Provide tailored technical support for crafting strategic action plans.
•    Develop communication and advocacy strategies geared towards influencing national and regional policies.
•    Formulate guidelines for the establishment and planning of NSA platforms.

This workshop attracted a diverse array of participants, representing the executive members of the NSA Platform, AU-IBAR and FAO staff, and individuals from five regional NSA platforms:

•    East African Region NSA Platform (EARFISH, Eastern Africa)
•    PMPA/North African Platform (North Africa)
•    Regional Platform of Non-State Actors in Fisheries and Aquaculture in Central (CANSAFA/PRAPAC (Central Africa)
•    Southern African Regional Platform for Non-State Actors in Fisheries and Aquaculture (SANSAFA, Southern Africa)
•    West African Region NSA Platform (WANSAFA/PANEPAO, Western Africa)

Over the course of four days, the workshop featured a comprehensive agenda, which can be summarized as follows:

Day 1: Building Foundations (Introduction to Strategic Action Planning, Situational Analysis, Vision and Mission Development & SWOT Analysis); Day 2: Strengthening Strategies (Value Added SWOT Analysis, Crafting Strategic Objectives; Day 3: Strategic Development (Further refinement of Strategic Objectives; Exploring Advocacy, Communication, and Knowledge Management (Strategy development); Day 4: Implementation and Beyond (Putting Advocacy Strategies into Action, Presentation of Strategic Actions and Activities, Executing Strategic Plans, and Resource Mobilization and Stakeholder Analysis).

The workshop achieved several significant outcomes:

•    Representatives gained valuable skills in developing Strategic Action Plans.
•    Participants emerged with the capacity to become trainers themselves, achieving the workshop's 'training of trainers' goal.
•    Training empowered participants in the realms of Advocacy, Communication, and Knowledge Management.
•    Notably, all regional NSA platforms successfully produced draft strategic plans.
•    Importantly, participants consented to the use of workshop materials for the development of policy briefs, guidelines, and communication/advocacy strategies.


The Journey Continues

At the end of the workshop, participants were awarded certificates. However, the workshop marks the beginning of a journey that continues with: Finalizing draft documents and subjecting them to validation, institutionalizing regional and national chapters, and Mobilizing resources for the finalization and validation of draft plans. The workshop closed with reflections from Ms. Ms. Hellen Moepi, Fisheries Officer, AU-IBAR; Dr Dismas Mbabazi, Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer, FAO; AWFISHNET President & Deputy Secretary General of NSA Platform, Mrs. Beyene Ateba Epse Baliaba and the NSA Platform Coordinator, Mr Gaoussou Gueye, who all emphasized the critical importance of this collaborative effort in shaping the future of fisheries and aquaculture across the African continent.