SADC report spotlights fisheries’ contribution to food systems and healthy living


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The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, through its Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration Ms. Angele Makombo N’tumba, launched the highly anticipated SADC/FAO Report “The Contribution of the Small-Scale Fisheries to Healthy Food Systems and Sustainable Livelihoods in SADC”. The launch event took place on 5th June 2024, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, during the celebration of ten (10) years of Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines at the Africa Small-Scale Fisheries Summit.

According to Ms. N’tumba, the report is a testament to the contribution of small-scale fisheries to the healthy food systems and sustainable livelihoods in the SADC region as well as the dedication and hard work of many actors within the small-scale fish value chain. The report sheds light on the indispensable value of the SSF sector and provides a roadmap for sustainable development and regional cooperation. It details various aspects of small-scale fisheries, including their economic impact, environmental significance, the challenges they face and key recommendations for policymakers such as governance in small-scale fisheries.

Ms N’tumba emphasised that the report came at the right time as the world celebrates a decade since the adoption of the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines at the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) held in 2014 in Rome, Italy and that it is a significant milestone in the realm of the SSF within the region. She applauded the SADC Secretariat and FAO for their dedication in compiling this report.

Honourable Dr Bizwick Usi, Minister of Natural Resources and Climate of the Republic of Malawi further emphasised that the report is a living document which is expected to serve as a critical resource and guiding tool for policymakers, development partners, and stakeholders in crafting policies and programs that bolster the development of the sector. He added that Action Plans should be developed to implement the recommendations emanating from the report to drive the regional agenda of the fisheries sector.

Mr Pierre Guillibert, the GIZ Representative and Coordinator for the Global Project for Sustainable Aquatic Foods highlighted that participation, gender, and ecosystem approach to fisheries are key tools to the cross-sectoral coordination of the SSF key findings from the report.

He emphasised that by fostering a collaborative approach and inclusivity in the sustainable support of SSF guidelines and decision-making we can ultimately contribute to the overall food security and sustainable food systems of the SSF value chain. He also indicated that the new Global Project for Sustainable Aquatic Foods which will be implemented in collaboration with SADC Secretariat will support SADC member States in closing some of the gaps identified in the SSF report.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in the United Republic of Tanzania, Prof Riziki Shemdoe thanked and appreciated the SADC Secretary in crafting this report and launching it in Tanzania.

The Senior Fisheries Officer for the FAO Regional Office for Africa, Dr. Ndiaga Gueye handed over the Report to the SADC Secretariat and Ms N’tumba officially launched the report “The Contribution of Small-scale Fisheries to Healthy Food Systems and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Southern African Development Community”. The report is part of the FAO series called Illuminating Hidden Harvests (IHH) and can be downloaded from – QR-code [xxx].