Seychelles hosts second meeting of AU platform for SIDS
AU-IBAR is implementing the second phase of the Fisheries Governance Project. (Seychelles Nation)
Work continues for the setting up of a fisheries platform that will allow small island nations from Africa to join forces for discussions at international level, through a three-day training in Seychelles.
The three-day workshop is being organised by the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) which is currently implementing the second phase of the Fisheries Governance Project (FishGov2).
The project aims at enhancing the contribution of the AU-IBAR's member states towards sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in order to achieve its objectives set out in the AU Agenda 2063.
The projects are funded by the European Union (EU) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
In his address, the Seychelles' fisheries minister, Jean-Francois Ferrari, said in his address that "it is our sincere aim to advance our causes regionally and continentally through this platform and we have agreed to do this together. We should learn from each other's strength in order to prosper and create a bond between member states, as we have the same objectives to reduce poverty, increase food security and promote economic growth."
He emphasised on the need for African small island developing states and Madagascar to work together in international negotiations to get better results.
Alongside Seychelles, countries represented at the workshop taking place at Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort are Mauritius, Comoros, Madagascar, Cape Verde and Sao Tome & Principe.
Since 2014, AU-IBAR has run a fisheries governance project and this has two components. The first was strengthening institutional capacity to enhance governance of the fisheries sector in Africa, which ended in 2018.
Setting up the platform needed to proceed is the second part of the project which is to enhance sustainable fisheries management and aquaculture development in Africa.
Ferrari was pleased to note that following the first meeting, there will be a two-day training to enhance the capacities of AU-SIDS and other pre-identified negotiators in terms of international negotiations and formulation of a mechanism in order to coordinate the African common positions at the global fora for fisheries, aquaculture, aquatic biodiversity, environmental sustainability and climate change related regimes.
Aside from training, one of the objectives of this second meeting is to chart the way forward for strategic positions. This will help to ensure increased contribution to food and nutritional security, poverty alleviation and economic growth consistent with the Malabo Declaration calling for action on transformation of African agriculture by 2025.