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Towards an aquaculture knowledge hub for Africa
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Towards an aquaculture knowledge hub for Africa

Shaping the future of aquaculture on the continent

ZAMBIA: The need to establish a continental Aquaculture Knowledge Hub was discussed at a consultative workshop last week in Lusaka in a bid to improve effective knowledge management and collaborative efforts within the African aquaculture sector.

The Consultative Workshop on Fisheries and Aquaculture Knowledge Management and Information Dissemination in Africa took place ahead of the Aquaculture Africa 2023 Conference and was facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

It included a specific focus on enhancing the capacity of AU-IBAR in managing and disseminating fisheries and aquaculture information within the frameworks of African Fisheries Reform Mechanism (AFRM) and the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy (PFRS) for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa.

Leaders in the field emphasised the need for collaboration and a commitment toward fostering sustainable fisheries practices underscored the importance of a collective approach to address the challenges facing the African aquaculture sector.

Participants agreed for the need to consolidate and disseminate best practices and technical advances with key stakeholders in order to equip them with the tools to face challenges as well as leverage opportunities.

By disseminating information about sustainable practices, biodiversity conservation, disease management, and technological advancements, stakeholders can make informed decisions that contribute not only to economic growth but also to the preservation of aquatic ecosystems.

The workshop emphasized that informed policy development and implementation heavily rely on accessing accurate, up-to-date information. Emphasising the utilization of comprehensive data and insights, the gathering highlighted the importance of shaping policies that bolster the growth of the aquaculture sector.

Equally critical is the effective dissemination of these policies to all stakeholders, ensuring successful implementation and alignment with sustainable development goals.

Breaking into groups, participants shaped a a comprehensive concept for the African Knowledge and Information Hub on aquaculture. Through a SWOT analysis, each group identified internal strengths and weaknesses, alongside external opportunities and threats, contributing to the conceptual development and planning of this knowledge hub.

The workshop not only laid the groundwork for continued collaboration, knowledge sharing, and concerted efforts but also sparked a collective vision to propel African aquaculture towards greater sustainability and prosperity.

The comprehensive conceptual development and planning for the African Knowledge and Information Hub, including the SWOT analysis conducted by the groups, are integral components that will shape the future trajectory of aquaculture on the continent.

As the dialogue continues, it is anticipated that the outcomes of this workshop will serve as a roadmap for transformative change and innovation in the African aquaculture sector that is strengthened through a knowledge hub.

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