Event News

Private sector urged to promote aquaculture in Africa

The Aquaculture Network for Africa 2nd General Congress highlighted the need to address challenges such as quality fish seeds and the high cost of aquafeeds.

Credits: AU-IBAR
January 18, 2024

The Aquaculture Network for Africa (ANAF) is an organization that aims to redefine the landscape of aquaculture across the African continent. ANAF aims to provide technical backing and facilitation to the African aquaculture subsector. Its 2nd General Congress took place in Naivasha, Kenya from January 15-17, 2024. With over a hundred delegates, the meeting addressed critical challenges and propelled sustainable aquaculture development.

At the opening, ANAF interim chair, Belemane Semoli (South Africa) 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.

David Balikowa, speaking on behalf of the East African Commission (EAC), 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. 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.

Lucy Ogungo, representing the Kenyan government, emphasized the critical need for skills and technology in aquaculture. “We have an acute shortage of certified fingerlings but the government is working on various centers of excellence so that we can increase production from aquaculture farming,” Ogungo said to local news. Apart from the lack of certified fish seeds and the high cost of fish feed, another main issue highlighted by Ogungo is the import of cheap fish from Asia.

Director of AU-IBAR, Huyam Salih highlighted 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.