SIDS Platform trained to negotiate in International fisheries and aquaculture fora
Posted by Marie Rignace on 20 February 2023 7:30 AM CAT
There has been an acknowledged need for capacity building of African Union Member States as an accepted development theory in decision-making and participation in International Ocean negotiations. AU-IBAR and AUDA-NEPAD jointly organised the second meeting of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Platform and training in negotiating skills in Seychelles from 15 to 17 February, 2023 in response to the need for improved negotiating skills and participant recommendations from the last SIDS meeting held in August, 2022.
The absence of active engagement in International Ocean negotiations by African Nations is indicative of the skills gap in negotiation. Some Countries have failed to approve or execute International Instruments. The capacity of Governments to implement important International Agreements and Africa's voice must be reinforced. The consolidation of collaboration and coordination mechanisms, effective participation, and articulation of a unified African voice in Global fora such as climate change and Ocean governance require improvement.
African leaders have urged the African Union to prioritise intervention areas that focus on developing the "African Voice" in International fisheries and aquaculture fora, and to implement a number of actions within timelines to help African Nations formulate and promote shared views in these negotiations. To ensure that International accords integrate African requirements and contexts, ratification and implementation by African Governments is essential for ensuring sustainable and profitable fisheries in Africa.
A review of the Policy Direction for Sustainable Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Blue Growth in Africa was the focus of the Workshop. The goal of the meeting was to explore strategies that will assist the African Union in achieving its Agenda 2063 objectives over the next fifty years.
The meeting identified key priority areas that need a unified front in International forums and could considerably advance Africa's fisheries and aquaculture sector. These include: Marine resources and Energy; Ports Operations and Marine Transport; Sustainable natural resource management and Biodiversity conservation; Sustainable consumption and production pattern; Water security; Renewable energy; Climate resilience and natural disasters preparedness and prevention, with an emphasis on Africa's participation in global efforts for climate change mitigation that support and broaden the Policy space for sustainable development on a continuing basis.
Particular mention was made of the several strategies in place to meet these needs. One is The Africa Blue Economy Strategy (ABES) aims to establish an inclusive, sustainable blue economy that transforms and grows Africa. Africa's Blue Economy Strategy outlines how to capitalise on this potential. It emphasises economic diversity, innovation, human capital investment, social integration, and Regional and International trade. To reform Africa's fisheries and aquaculture for food, livelihoods, and prosperity, the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy (PFRS) was created. The PFRS for fisheries and aquaculture was created to overcome the obstacles that prevent African nations from fully benefiting from their ocean and aquatic resources. The PFRS aims to promote equitable, social, and economic growth in Africa by creating a favourable fish sector environment. It also organises Africa's fisheries sectors to help reform National and Regional Policies. The training was attended by 35 participants from the African Small Island Developing States. The training was implemented under the Enhancing Sustainable Fisheries Management and Aquaculture Development in Africa: project for accelerated reform of the sector Project (FishGov 2), a European Union-funded Project.