September 6, 2021 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): In conformity with the mandated objectives and guidelines of the E€OFISH programme, IGAD in partnership with ECOFISH held a workshop on 6 and 7 September in Addis Ababa, at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

About 30 participants attended the workshop. Fishery Director Generals, Directors and Fishery Senior Experts from IGAD Member States attended the workshop. There was also virtual participation of Ecofish Programme Management Unit Experts from Mauritius.

This 2-day workshop focused on finalizing the terms of reference, including the operational modalities of the IGAD Fisheries Coordination Platform (IFCP) within the ECOFISH programme guidelines.

In his opening speech, H. E. Dr. Fikru Regassa, State Minister of Ministry of Agriculture (Ethiopia) noted that the inland and marine coastal fisheries resources of the Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region represent significant natural wealth and that the ECOFISH strives to ensure the sustainable management of these assets by putting in place policies to handle them effectively, and protecting promoting through good fishing practices.

Dr. Eshete Dejen, Ag. Programme Manager of Environment Protection made welcome remarks on behalf of lGAD. He stated that IGAD is a frontline implementer of Ecofish Programme.

The proposed IGAD sub-regional platform is intended to complement the endeavors of the Marine Fisheries Work Plan Steering Committee of the Ecofish Programme to ensure seamless collaboration and partnership among IGAD member countries. The IGAD Fisheries Coordination Platform is proposed to be implemented based on a proper consultative and participatory approach.


Background

The E€OFISH Programme is a Cross-Regional Initiative funded by the 11th EDF to leverage regional cooperation for enhancing sustainable inland and marine fisheries in Eastern African, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region. The programme is promoted and administered by EUD Mauritius and IOC Secretariat in collaboration with the duly mandated regional economic and fisheries organizations (DMROs)for the benefits of the ACP partner countries in the region. It has a total budget of 28 million euros over 62 months starting that started in July 2019, however, its implementation has been delayed by the social restrictions provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

Several objectives are fixed and consist of to assist in the strategic orientation of sub-regional and national chapter of the regional interventions and to provide inputs for the formulation of Concept Notes and Terms of Reference for Technical studies, background papers and Agenda for the sub-regional meetings and workshops.