Tanzania to host first Africa small-scale fisheries summit

By Carlos Banda , The Guardian
Published at 07:16 AM May 24 2024
Abdallah Ulega, Minister for Livestock and Fisheries
Photo: Guardian Reporter
Abdallah Ulega, Minister for Livestock and Fisheries

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan is next month scheduled to grace the first Africa Small-scale Fisheries Summit which will deliberate on the opportunities available in the blue economy and ways to ensure artisanal fishers benefit from the subsector.

Abdallah Ulega, Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, unveiled this in Dar es Salaam yesterday when speaking to journalists ahead of the summit that will take place in Dar es Salaam between June 5th and 7th, this year.

The first ever summit will bring on board fisheries stakeholders from various African countries, investors, experts and businesspeople in various areas to explore ways to make the fishery sector sustainable.

“It will be a platform to share experiences, exchange ideas and advanced ways of fishing and ensure the sector is sustainable by addressing illegal fishing for the benefit of the future generation. On our side, we had a discussion on how to help youth and women in the sector on how to generate income and build a better tomorrow,” he said.

He said such an opportunity did not come by chance but a result of various efforts made by the government.

“Tanzania was invited last year to attend a summit organized by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) for being among countries that prepared the best guideline to supervise small scale fishing. Nationally, 95 percent of the registered fishermen are small-scale which consists of a value chain of six million Tanzanians who are highly dependent on the sector to generate income,” he said.

“The sector’s contribution to GDP stands at 1.9 percent and provides direct employment to more than 230,000 people. This sector touches the lives of many Tanzanians. Fishing business generates up to 3.4tr/- in general. When it comes to export alone, the sector generates 509bn/- annually which makes fish and other aquatic products help the country to earn foreign currency.”

Ulega said the summit sets the ground to formalize the fisheries sector as well as attract investments and advanced technology, adding that small scale fishermen will have a chance to gain new knowledge.

“We want to make the sector loanable, attract investments and capital whereas doing so will elevate the sector’s contribution to the GDP from 1.9 percent to 2.5 percent upwards. We want to ensure that small scale fishermen can earn income and develop,” he said.

“The summit will involve participation of various people including representatives of small-scale fishermen from areas with lakes or dams and we will bring them together so that they can meet their counterparts from other African countries.”

The summit is organised by the government of Tanzania in collaboration with the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources, FAO, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other stakeholders with the objective of presenting views from the summit as one voice of Africa to the global stage.