CONAKRY – 02-03 July 2018. The Guinean capital was the host of the first sub-regional workshop on transparency in fisheries management in West Africa.
Organised by the Regional Partnership for Coastal and Marine Conservation (PRCM) with the support of the MAVA Foundation, the workshop was organised to meet the growing interest of West African countries in the FiTI and build capacities amongst West African stakeholders to promote the FiTI in their respective countries. The meeting focused on the countries of the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC), bringing together representatives of various relevant stakeholder groups from Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinee-Bissau and Sierra Leone to explain the FiTI in more details and stir discussions on issues of transparency and participation in fisheries in the sub-regional context.
The workshop was opened by H.E. Frédéric Loua, Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Affairs of Guinea, who emphasised the need for good fisheries governance as a key condition to ensure the sustainability of the country’s fish resources.
The presence of high-level representatives amongst the participants – such as the Permanent Secretary of the Fisheries Ministry of the Gambia, Dr. Bamba; and the Secretary General of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC), Mr. Dédi – further demonstrated the importance of the topic in the region.
The workshop also offered countries of the region that were not yet engaged in the FiTI the opportunity to learn from the experience of countries that have committed to implement the initiative, in particular Mauritania and the host country Guinea.
Through interactive and open discussions, the representatives from government, business and civil society agreed on a set of clear recommendations to support the implementation of more transparency and participation in the sub-region’s fisheries sector.
The workshop was closed with the adoption of the “Conakry Declaration for Transparency in West Africa”, in which the participants called upon the governments of the sub-region to implement the FiTI in their respective countries and urged regional non-state actors to accompany this process.
The participants agreed that such FiTI workshops shall be continued to build on its achievements and continue promoting the FiTI, at the sub-regional level and beyond. It was proposed to organise a similar workshop in the West Central Gulf of Guinea to expand awareness raising beyond the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission region, all the way until Nigeria.