Tanzania: Why Tanzania Hosts Key Africa Fisheries Summit

Key reforms made by the country in the fisheries sector have attracted stakeholders to choose Tanzania as the host of the Africa Small Scale Fisheries (SSF) Summit for the first time.

According to the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, President Samia Suluhu Hassan is expected to grace the summit.

The summit, scheduled from June 5th to 7th this year in Dar es Salaam, will bring together fishermen from within and outside the country to discuss successes, challenges, and the way forward for the industry.

In addition to shedding light on the opportunities available in the blue economy, the summit will also amplify the African voice for sustainable fisheries and shape policies for fisheries management.

Addressing journalists about the summit on Thursday in Dar es Salaam, Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Abdallah Ulega disclosed the reasons that prompted the country to host this historical summit, including President Samia's efforts to bolster economic diplomacy.

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"The main reason Tanzania got this opportunity is the stable leadership of President Samia, who facilitated the ministry to excel in the implementation of the small-scale fisheries guidelines and being the first country in the world to prepare a strategic plan to execute the guidelines, a feat that made the country shine internationally," the minister asserted.

Mr Ulega noted that the summit will bring together fishermen from within and outside the country to discuss successes, challenges and the way forward in the industry.

He also highlighted that, in addition to shedding light on the opportunities available in the blue economy, the summit will include the 10th anniversary of the implementation of small-scale fisheries guidelines and the policy framework for managing Aquaculture in Africa.

Minister Ulega shared that in March last year, he was invited by the Director-General for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) as an official guest to deliver a speech at the International Fisheries Conference in Italy. During his time in Italy, the minister shared the country's experience in preparing and implementing a strategic plan for SSF guidelines and announced Tanzania's intention to host the summit in 2024.

"President Dr Samia has been working tirelessly to ensure that the country develops its economy through water resources, the 'blue economy'... thus, this summit will be crucial for delegates to exchange ideas, unearth opportunities and explore various technologies to ensure that the country takes significant steps towards the execution of the concepts of 'Building a Better Tomorrow' for our youth (BBT) and the blue economy," he said.

Mr Ulega revealed that there are a number of benefits that the country will receive through the summit, including expanding the scope of the global market for the country's fisheries products and opening up investment opportunities for the sector.

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"The summit will also provide a wide range of our fishermen with the opportunity to learn how to run their activities using modern technologies to increase productivity," he added.

The summit, coordinated by the government in collaboration with various international organisations led by the African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), FAO, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and other stakeholders, will include leaders and experts in the fishing industry from Africa, investors and traders, researchers, among others.

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