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New Fish Trade programme aims to benefit African traders

A new and innovative programme has been launched in Africa that aims to improve the quality of life for small-scale fish traders in Africa, many of whom are women

Promoted by WorldFish, African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency, the Fish Trade programme is crucial to ensuring food security in Africa, supporting livelihoods and promoting economic development.

Funded by the European Union (EU), the programme will support Ministries of Fisheries and Aquaculture by strengthening policies, standards and regulatory frameworks for the promotion of intra-regional fish trade.

The goal of the programme is to strengthen the capacity of private sector associations, in particular women fish traders, and will enhance the competitiveness of small- and medium-scale enterprises, WorldFish said in a statement.

In Africa, millions of people depend on fish as a vital source of nutrition. Fish and the fish product trade are increasingly important for Africa’s food security and economic development. Improving food and nutritional security by supporting intra-regional trade is the focus of this four-year, EU-funded programme.

It will achieve this through enhancing the capacities of regional and pan-African organisations to support their member states to integrate intra-regional fish trade into their development and food security policy agendas.

"This project will facilitate regional integration through intra-regional trade in fish and fish products which underscores the vision for an integrated and prosperous Africa,” said Professor Ahmed A El-Sawalhy, director of AU-IBAR.

The Fish Trade programme focuses on four trade corridors, in western, southern, eastern and central Africa. The corridors run from Dakar to N’djamena (through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ghana, Nigeria and Chad; from Dar es Salaam to Durban (through Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa); from Mombasa to Goma (through Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo); and from Libreville to N’djamena via Yaoundé (through Gabon, Cameroon and Chad). The corridors were selected because of their importance in fish and fish product trade flows.