New fisheries reforms will boost fish trade volumes in Guinea through the support of the NEPAD Agency. This was the outcome of a recent meeting between President of Guinea, Alpha Condé, and NEPAD Agency CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, on June 25 in Conakry.
Fish is one of the leading commodities for Guinea, with an annual value of nearly USD 215 million, contributing to about three per cent of national GDP. The estimated value of total seafood export by Guinea was estimated at USD 10 million in 2008.
The fisheries sub-sector also plays a key role in achieving the 6 per cent growth target set under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). However, inappropriate policies and inadequate governance mechanisms for managing fisheries have hampered its potential to contribute sustainably to food and nutrition security, or boost incomes through increased trade.
It is for this reason that the NEPAD Agency’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Programme is working with the Government of Guinea to consider and implement policies and governance reforms aimed at improving the productivity, profitability and sustainability of its fisheries and the welfare benefits provided by this sector. This is in line with pan-African policy frameworks and reforms strategies that were endorsed by African Heads of States in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, last year.
Currently, Guinea’s fish products cannot access high end markets such as the European Union because the country does not meet internationally agreed standards for fish export certification such as the Codex alimentarius. Those standards are set to ensure that consumers are supplied with safe food. Fish and fisheries products are part of this certification process. An audit of the fish sanitary control process in Guinea conducted by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the European Union in 2006 concluded that fish and fisheries products from Guinea do not meet EU standards on food safety.
To address this need, the NEPAD Agency‘s Fisheries and Aquaculture Programme will supply Guinea’s Office of Sanitary Control with equipment that will fast-track the export certification process of its fish products based on international norms. Part of the support will also include training to Ministry staff in order to improve the technical capacity to operationalise the laboratory. The upgrade of the laboratory will be coupled with a study on a value chain analysis to pinpoint areas that hinder the trade of fish products and where reforms are needed to capture the wealth from the fisheries activities.
This intervention is aimed at achieving the aspirations of the Malabo commitments goals of increasing intra-regional trade of fish and fisheries products and improving production and productivity of fisheries resources.
President Condé expressed his gratitude to Dr Mayaki for the support provided by the NEPAD Agency during the meeting. The CEO invited President Condé to become the Champion of the Agency’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Programme. Dr Mayaki was accompanied by Dr Hamady Diop, Programme Manager of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Programme.