02-05-2018, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): H.E. Dr. Gebre Egziabher Gebre Yohanis from the Ministry of Agriculture of and Livestock of Ethiopia this morning opened the Popularization Workshop of IGAD Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Strategy in Addis Ababa in the presence of the Director of Peace and Security Division of IGAD, H.E. Amb. Tewolde Gebremeskel, at the high table.
The Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), development partners, fish experts and representatives of the IGAD Member States are meeting during two days for popularization of IGAD Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Strategy (2016-2020). The participants include representatives from the IGAD Member States, European Union, AU, Regional Economic Communities, FAO, Regional Fisheries Organizations, NGOs, and IGAD Secretariat.
The workshop is to present the progress made so far in implementing the strategy and developing detailed implementation plan for the remaining period. In the workshop experiences from the region and at continental level will be shared and will serve as an input to improve the implementation plan. Member states will also share the overview of the sector, ongoing interventions and planned programs and projects.
The strategy provides a clear road map for the intervention to be undertaken in the area of fisheries and aquaculture, based on the Vision and the Strategic Papers of IGAD and other relevant documents that guide IGAD intervention within the region, hence the urgency to popularize a strategy that will guide the sector.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Ethiopia, H.E. Dr. Gebre Egziabher noted that Interregional fish trade between IGAD member states was “very limited and underdeveloped”. He added that the Strategy clearly identified challenges, opportunities and intervention areas. “Ethiopian Government as one of IGAD member states believes that this Strategy will address cross-border and regional issues that will add value to the national programs and projects”, he said.
Amb Tewolde highlighted that the fishery sector could “contribute to accelerated economic growth and development, income generation, nutrition, employment and export earnings and overall food security”. “It is my firm believes that the critical mass of experts gathered here will assist to popularize the strategy and develop detailed implementation plan for the remaining period” he said before assuring participants that IGAD was “committed for full implementation of the strategy”.
Through the Strategy, Member States in the IGAD region will have the opportunity to utilize the fish resource sustainably especially in Arid and Semi-Arid area to combat food insecurity, malnutrition, build resilience and provide a clear road map for the intervention to be undertaken in the area of fisheries and aquaculture, based on the vision and the strategic papers of IGAD and other relevant documents that guide IGAD intervention within the region.
IGAD with the financial assistance from EU developed the “Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Strategy (RFAS) for 2016-2020 adopted in 2016.