African Chapter President's Column - September 2019
This past quarter has been quite an eventful and momentous one for the African Chapter. I’m elated by the hard work and due diligence expressed by interim office bearers and advisors to take the Chapter to another level of progression. As a team, we managed to deliver on various planned programs and activities within our workplan.
Firstly, the Chapter’s first permanent board was elected this August 2019. Our members were given the democratic right and opportunity to elect a board to take the Chapter forward. The process went smoothly, from nomination to actual balloting and was concluded in earnest on schedule, thanks to the constituted and effective Elections Committee and the WAS Home Office staff for getting the job done. We now have a permanent, elected Board of Directors! A big thank you to the Chapter membership for taking part in the voting.
The new Board is comprised of:
• President – Dr. Sherif Sadek (Egypt), former Interim President
• President-elect – Dr. John Walakira (Uganda),
former Interim President-elect
• Secretary – Dr. Harrison Charo Karisa (Kenya, based in Egypt)
• Treasurer – Dr. Bernice Mclean (South Africa)
In addition, and in conformity to our bylaws, we also elected Regional Directors from the five regions of Africa and these are responsible for the management of Chapter business affairs in those respective regions. These are:
• North Africa – Dr. Nevine Shabana (Egypt)
• East Africa – Dr. Nelly Isyagi (Uganda)
• West Africa – Mr. Lanre Badmus (Nigeria)
• Central Africa – Dr. Francesca Delgado (Angola)
• Southern Africa – Dr. Alexander Kefi (Zambia)
As you can see, the new Board consists of officials from all the corners of Africa with various disciplines within aquaculture development. Most importantly, these are men and women “of influence” who have been involved in aquaculture development in Africa for awhile. Most have been members of WAS for awhile and have demonstrated passion to establish the Chapter ever since the call for establishment was made. I do certainly believe in this team and its competence to take the Chapter forward. Let’s rally behind them in all support to get things moving. This new Board will be officially inaugurated in South Africa this September.
I would like to take a moment to especially thank the outgoing Interim Board members Ms. Zukiswa Nkhereanye (South Africa), Interim Secretary and Dr. Flower Msuya (Tanzania), Interim Treasurer, whom I worked with during the Interim Board tenure since July 2018. These two have demonstrated due passion and wisdom in support of decision-making processes that have taken the Chapter to where it is today. They have both expressed interest to continue working in an advisory capacity in strengthening the Chapter. I salute both Zuki and Flower! And thank you African Chapter for entrusting me to substantively lead you for another term.
Secondly, after so much negotiations and internal consultations, the Chapter’s inaugural Annual International Conference and Exposition (Aquaculture Africa Conference) slated for November 2020 in Egypt has finally been approved by the Egyptian authorities! We have dubbed this event AFRAQ2020. The event will be launched on 4 September 2019 at a planned special Steering Committee meeting in Cairo. The necessary Committees to undertake all planning formalities have been constituted. WAS Conference management is now working round the clock to get things organized in line with the way WAS does business with conferences. Soon after the launch, we shall do an extensive publicity and promotional drive as well as reaching out to partners, collaborators and sponsors. We will keep you updated.
For this, I especially wish to thank the Egyptian government – particularly the Egyptian Security Agency and the General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD) – for approving the event. GAFRD will be the main hosting agency, supported by its collaborative partners, the Central Laboratory for Aquaculture Research (CLAR), WorldFish and the Egyptian Aquaculture Society (EgAS). Some universities active in aquaculture research and development are already on board, including the University of Alexandria and Suez Canal University. Our Chapter Founding Gold Sponsor, Aller Aqua, has agreed to be AFRAQ2020 Gold Sponsor as well. Thank you AllerAqua! This is in addition to traditional WAS Premier Sponsors. We hope to rope in more international parties soon after the launch.
Let’s now slate the dates of 7-10 November 2020 into our diaries for AFRAQ2020 in Alexandria, Egypt! Will update you with more information in the next column. So far so good for the African Chapter. Keep supporting us as we keep growing!
— Sherif Sadek, Interim President