World Aquaculture Society


African Chapter President's Column - September 2022

The African Chapter has been engaged with many events and activities in the region as we continue to capture the momentum generated from the AFRAQ21 conference held in Egypt in March. We have realized a surge in membership from new registrations and renewals over the past quarter, indicating a growth in confidence in our chapter.

In July, we pre-launched the second Aquaculture Africa Conference (AFRAQ23) that will be held in Zambia. The WAS and the Zambia Government are the hosting parties and have agreed on event dates of 13-16 November 2023 in Lusaka. Conference committees are now established and tasked to produce a roadmap for implementing the AFRAQ23 conference. The conference brochure and website will be launched soon after approval from the Zambian government.

Also in July, I was honored to attend the 14th Biennial Conference of the Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa Conference (AASA) in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa — where I delivered a keynote address. The event was attended by over 180 participants from the private sector, government, universities, investment partners, consultants, exhibitors and students from Africa and beyond. I had an opportunity to meet WAS members from southern Africa during an organized side event. The AASA and the Egyptian Aquaculture Society have long been our special affiliate partners in the African region and we hope to continue collaborating with them on future events. I am grateful to the Regional Director for Southern Africa, Dr. Khalid Salie, for hosting me and our delegation.

Our Regional Director for the Central Africa region, Dr. Francisca Delgado, managed to hold her first outreach mission to Angola in June 2022, where WAS members, partners and various other aquaculture stakeholders met to introduce WAS and develop an action plan to serve the region. This is well in line with the strategic vision of WAS of reaching out to new countries with high interest to develop aquaculture. I am overly grateful for the audience we received from both state ministries and several nonstate actors in Angola. We keep welcoming any party interested in partnering with us on the journey to connect and serve the Central Africa region.

We were hoping to have the second Regional Conference on Aquaculture in East Africa in Kenya this September, but this event has been postponed to early next year, between 21-24 February 2023 in, Kisumu, Kenya. We shall update you with more information shortly.

Preparation for the Second Regional Conference on Aquaculture for West Africa is on-going as scheduled, 16-19 October 2022, at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokota, Ogun State, Nigeria. This will be a physical conference and I urge many of you to plan to attend and connect with actors from Nigeria, the secondlargest aquaculture producer in Africa, but also to learn more on recent aquaculture developments in the entire West African bloc. I am grateful to the Regional Director for West Africa, Mr. Lanre Badmus, and his organizing team for all efforts in co-ordinating the planning of this event. Various sponsors and partners have expressed interest to collaborate with us. Perhaps the biggest highlight so far is the agreement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to grace the opening of the event. The former country president is highly regarded as a national aquaculture champion. He also spearheaded the formation of our host organization AUDA-NEPAD. A dedicated website for the conference has been set up where you can get more information and register (wasacwar. com/about/). We hope to share with you the highlights and outcome of that event in the next column.

The North Africa region is scheduled to have the first Maghreb Region outreach mission to Morocco around November. This event will engage existing WAS members and potential partner institutions in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Mauritania and Tunisia. Our founding Gold Sponsor, Aller Aqua, has agreed to sponsor the event. I am equally grateful to the Regional Director: North Africa, Dr. Nevine Shabana, for all ongoing engagements and liaisons with various parties in the Northwest Africa region.

Internally, we have begun the process of reviewing African Chapter committee structures. New committee members will soon be appointed and some special ad hoc committees will be established on Gender and Youth Development, Industry Relations and Resource Mobilization to serve the interests of the Chapter in the medium term. I will be updating you more about this in the next column.

Lastly, let me reiterate that all these efforts and successes would not be possible had it not been for the spirit of collaboration and strategic partnerships we have with various actors in African aquaculture. No doubt, this has been fundamental to improving our business outcomes. Thank you to our members and partners for taking our great Chapter forward!

— John Kilemerwa Walakira, President

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