The E€OFISH Programme has deployed four experts to fast track the implementation of activities for sustainable fisheries in the region of East Africa, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (EA- SA-IO). This initiative is part of the activities promoted and funded by the European Union which aim to promote equitable economic growth in these regions.
These resource persons will support the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in putting in place a governance structure and in planning activities for the sound management of marine and aquatic resources. These organizations are part of the implementing partners of E€OFISH. They make sure the needs in the regions are adequately identified, the mechanisms and arrangement in place are relevant to the context and the activities implemented have a real impact.
Such provision of experts expands the collaboration platform that E€OFISH has set up. In July 2020, 11 national focal points and their assistants have also been appointed to join partner organizations in this platform. Therefore, the four newly deployed experts will bring technical added value to the network. “Collaboration is at the heart of the E€OFISH Programme. With this increasingly structured network of players in the fisheries industry, we are making sure that a synergy is created to help move forward sustainable fishing actions in the region”, says Soobaschand Sweenarain, Programme Coordinator.
Deploying experts in spite of the challenging COVID-19 pandemic situation demonstrates E€OFISH’s will to equip partner organizations in order to accelerate the adoption of a sustainable fishing culture, particularly in these difficult times. In addition to bringing together key actors in the region, the Programme recently awarded six grants to initiatives for the promotion of sustainable fisheries in Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Sudan, South Sudan, and in Tanzania/ Zanzibar. E€OFISH also reactivated the coordination unit of the Regional Fisheries Surveillance Programme (PRSP) in order to improve maritime resources protection in the region.
These efforts are particularly important considering that the inland and marine coastal fisheries resources of the EA- SA-IO region represent a natural wealth estimated at 50 billion Euros. According to the World Bank, fish and their products represent about 18% of the animal proteins of African consumers.