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Researchers, Entrepreneurs gear up for the International Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022) Conference

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Researchers, Entrepreneurs gear up for the International Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022) Conference

As part of the celebrations for the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022), Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization(LVFO) together with its key partner Sustainable Fisheries Initiative (SFI) is organizing the International Conference on Artisanal Fisheries (ICAF) scheduled for 1st to 3rd September 2022 at the Source of Nile Hotel in Jinja, Uganda.

The International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022) was declared in 2017 by the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, with the FAO to serve as the lead UN agency, in collaboration with other relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system.

Whereas the business community is set to showcase their businesses and technologies, Researchers, practitioners and students at different levels ranging from undergraduate to postgraduate among others from Uganda and across the globe, have submitted their research papers  for presentation during the conference. With the submission deadline set for 30th June 2022, so far, over 50 papers have been received from leading universities and institutions/organizations across the globe.

“Submissions from Uganda have been received from Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Yalelo Uganda, National Agriculture Research Organization (NARO),  Animal Resources Research Program, ABI Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Directorate of Fisheries Resources, Victoria Treasures Ltd, Busitema University, and Maritime Research Institute ( Namasagali), among others,” says Mr Bakora Moses the Executive Director, Sustainable Fisheries Initiative.

According to Mr Bakora, submissions from the rest of Africa have come from Environmental Management and Economic Development Organization – EMEDO (Tanzania), Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute(KMFRI) and Kenyatta University (Kenya), Department of Fisheries (Malawi), Sengabay Capture Fisheries Research Centre (Malawi), Lilongwe University of Aquaculture and Natural Resources (Malawi), Rhodes University (South Africa), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Zambia)

From outside Africa, Birmingham University (UK), University of Akureyri (Iceland) and Ghent University(Belgium)   among others, have submitted their papers.

“This alone is a good indication of the level of exchange and networking that will take place at the conference, not mentioning the regional ministerial dialogue, roundtable blue dialogues and key note speeches,” noted Dr. Shigalla Mahongo the chairperson of the International Organizing Committee, of Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization.

According to the conference organizers, the event will offer an open platform for dialogues, research presentations and technology exhibitions across the fisheries value chain. The conference is being organized under the theme “Breaking new grounds to recognize and celebrate the contribution of small scale fisheries towards food security and nutrition”. The conference is expected to attract over 500 participants including scientists, development partners, state actors, young researchers and students, practitioners and exhibitors from across the globe.

It is expected to attain the following set of objectives: i) enhancing awareness, understanding and actions to support the contribution and sustainable development of artisanal fisheries and aquaculture to food security and nutrition, poverty eradication and use of natural resources ii) promoting a platform for sharing blue innovations, research findings and their translation into practice, dialogue and collaboration among artisanal fishers, governments and other partners to further strengthen their capacity to enhance sustainability, social development and well-being​.

Other specific objectives include: iii) bringing together a diverse range of practitioners, scientists, development partners and industry representatives working across different areas of the fisheries across the world,  iv) reflecting on Africa’ progress in achieving the SDGs and establishing new impetus to achieve sustainable fisheries, iv) fostering  interactions with development partners, financing institutions and solution providers, and advocate the benefits of collaboration and support towards achieving sustainable artisanal fisheries development, and v) contributing to the continuing development and expansion of international, regional and national partnerships and associations, and establish where they do not exist.

Bakora adds that the four days of the conference will comprise of plenary sessions with seasoned and re-known keynote speakers, ministerial dialogues, parallel sessions comprising scientific oral paper presentations, poster paper presentations, exhibitions and field excursions among other activities.

Strategic support and guidance in the organization of the conference is facilitated by the International and National Organizing Committees which comprises: Directorate of Fisheries Resources under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, GIZ-Responsible Fisheries Business Chain Project, Birmingham University, Scottish Oceans Institute, Makerere University, Fisheries Training Institute,  Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association, Association of Fish and Lake Users of Uganda, Federation of Fisheries Organization of Uganda, Katosi Women, Uganda National Women Fish Organization and Yalelo Uganda.

Sarah Biryomumaisho is a multitalented freelance journalist with 10 years of experience in broadcast and publishing. She has worked with several radio stations and online publications. Twitter; https://twitter.com/BiryomumaishoB

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