October 12, 2022 (BISHOFTU, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development, in partnership with the European Union and within the framework of the Ecosfish Programme, organize a 3-day Validation workshop on the Socioeconomic Situation and Capacity Need Assessment of fisheries in Baro-Akobo-Sobat River Basin, a transboundary river basin between Ethiopia and South Sudan, in Bishoftu (Ethiopia).
The workshop was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and South Sudan, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water and Energy of Ethiopia, Bureau of Livestock and Fisheries of Gambella Region, Gambella University Research and Community Service Vice President, Addis Ababa University, Sebeta National Fisheries Research Center of Ethiopia, National Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries of South Sudan, Juba University, Fishery Experts from Jonglei, Upper Nile and National Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation and National Ministry of Environment and Forestry of South Sudan.
In his opening speech and on Behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr Eshete Dejen Programme Manager of IGAD AED-Sustainable Environment Unit and Ecofish Project Coordinator said “The fisheries sector in IGAD member countries has been recognized as one of the important growth sectors in the region. Fishery sector can contribute to accelerated economic growth and development, income generation, nutrition, employment and export earnings and overall food security. The focus should be on increased production and value addition since fish has high domestic market demand, can contribute to improved domestic nutrition, offer good trade opportunities at the global, regional and intra-regional levels; and have potential to foster backward and forward linkages to support efficient value addition.”
The Head Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Desk of the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia Dr Fasil Dawit pursued “The Gambella region is one of those places where the Baro River and its basin are vital to the lives of the people who live there. The importance of the sector in this basin is critical not only for the Gambella Region, but also for the entire country. The basin’s importance is not limited to the direct and indirect economic contributions from fishery resources; it also includes non-fishery economic activities such as aquatic transportation, natural ecosystem conservation with less soil erosion, irrigation, and hydropower”.
Therefore, the purpose of these workshops is to validate these draft documents by involving the Bilateral Fisheries Coordination Platform (BFCP) members from the three project implementation countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan). BFCP was established in each basin by the IGAD Ecofish Project.
The key outcomes of the workshop include production of reviewed and revised study reports and validation of data/information from study documents by national experts.
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 overall objective of the programme is “to enhance equitable economic growth by promoting sustainable fisheries in the EA-SA-IO region”. The specific objective is “to support sustainable management and development of fisheries in order to contribute to poverty alleviation, food and nutrition security while addressing climate change resilience and enhancing marine biodiversity”.