The African Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) that was initially planned for 2020 will take place from December 11-14 in the Egyptian port of Alexandria, following an assessment of the Covid health and safety situation in the ancient country, and approval by the Egyptian government.
“WAS and AFRAQ21 conference management is cognizant of the need to hold the conference under Covid-19 health and safety protocols, as stipulated by the government of Egypt as well as the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (the venue for the event), to ensure safety of conference attendees,” the organisers said in a press release. The theme for this inaugural event will be ‘Sustainable Aquaculture – Feeding Africa’.
AFRAQ2021 technical program will aim to cover developmental issues including latest research on aquaculture in Africa. The thematic plenary and technical parallel sessions will comprise submitted oral and poster presentations. AFRAQ2021 will feature an international trade exhibition, industry forums, student sessions and activities, satellite workshops (and training sessions) and various meetings/forums on aquaculture development in Egypt and Africa.
The Aquaculture Africa Conference rescheduled to December 11 – 14, 2021 due to the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in lockdowns, travel restrictions, bans on mass gatherings etc, the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) and its key stakeholders in Egypt have decided to postpone the Aquaculture Africa 2020 to next year (2021).
“This has prompted to change it to AFRAQ21.“
The venue remains the same: Alexandrina Bibliotheca, Alexandria City, Egypt. WAS understood that this rescheduling, which is in line with Egyptian health and safety regulations, is of the best interest for the safety and well-being of our members, delegates, exhibitors and all other parties concerned.
The venue will be the famous Bibliotheca Alexandrina, one of the most fascinating touristic and cultural attractions in the world. The conference offers a great opportunity for aquaculture researchers, practitioners, decision makers and other stake holders to meet, network and discuss all aspects of aquaculture in Africa.
Exhibitors from all over the globe are expected to exhibit their products in the amazing exhibition Center. Visits to the most famous touristic attractions in Egypt will be arranged. Special excursionary visits will also be arranged to nearby fish farms, fish feed mills and local research facilities.
Nile tilapia and African catfish account for over 95% of harvests
The African conference has started as an initiative from different sector actors, one of each was Harrison Charo Karisa, formerly WorldFish Country Director for Egypt and Nigeria, and current Secretary of African Chapter of World Aquaculture Society.
Talking about the start of the meeting he said to Thefishsite that “I’ve been involved from inception from March 2018 when the director of Central Laboratory for Aquaculture Research (CLAR) and I (representing WorldFish in Egypt) wrote to the World Aquaculture Society requesting the conference”.
“I have been part of the organizing committee as the secretary of the African Chapter of WAS. I am also participating in the Afraq21 conference representing the World Bank. I will be presenting a paper entitled ‘Financing sustainable small and medium scale aquaculture growth In Africa’ at the finance and investment session”.
About the key challenges that Africa has to overcome to fulfil its aquaculture potential, Karisa said that it includes “the lack of affordable quality inputs, especially seed and feed, and dependence on a few species for aquaculture (currently Nile tilapia and African catfish account for over 95% of harvests), despite the many species with farming potential in the continent”.
“Other issues include the lack of technical knowhow among aquaculture practitioners in Africa, inadequate policy and regulatory frameworks supporting the sector growth, threats of climate change and biosecurity, inadequate public and private expenditure on aquaculture development due to negative publicity and the lack of champions,”, Karica adds. “There is also an inadequate application of local solutions, and a lack of information and data to influence decision makers and financial institutions.”