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The purpose of the sixth Annual Meeting of the Aquaculture Network for Africa (ANAF) was to reaffirm the commitment towards ANAF by its member countries, discuss and agree on the draft of the four legal documents: (i) ANAF Founding Agreement; (ii) ANAF rules of procedure; (iii) ANAF financial regulations; and (iv) ANAF headquarters agreement; and to discuss and agree on a clear strategy and concrete follow-up actions leading to the establishment of ANAF as an intergovernmental organization (IGO).
The meeting was attended by: legal officers from the Republic of Chad, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Liberia, the Republic of Mali, the Republic of Mozambique, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Republic of Senegal, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Uganda, and the Republic of South Africa; ANAF National Focal Points from the Republic of Cameroon, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Senegal, the Republic of Uganda, the Republic of Zambia and the Republic of South Africa; one representative from African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR); one FAO Legal consultant; the Senior Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer from FAO Regional Office for Africa in the Republic of Ghana; one Aquaculture Officer from FAO Headquarters in Rome; and the executive secretary and two technical officers from Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO). Out of 14 member countries, 12 were represented at the meeting.
Presentations made included: (1) introduction to the meeting: background, purpose, process and expected outputs; (2) AU-IBAR aquaculture development activities in Africa; (3) presentation of the four legal documents; (4) report prepared by the legal officers working group; (4) concept note on the process for the establishment of ANAF prepared by the ANAF National Focal Points working group.
During the meeting, two working groups were established. The ANAF legal documents were reviewed and these included: the draft agreement, the draft rules of procedure, the draft financial regulations and the draft headquarter agreement. A concept note on the roadmap for the establishment of ANAF was developed. Two options were proposed for establishment of ANAF: (1) ANAF secretariat to be hosted by a member country as an IGO; or, (2) integration of ANAF as a unit within AU-IBAR structure. The meeting was more in favour of the second option for budgetary reasons, but a final decision will be taken by member countries during the next Committee on Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (CIFAA) Session to be held in the Republic of the Gambia from 9 to 11 May 2017. The Republic of Mali offered to host the Seventh ANAF Annual Meeting in 2017. The Republic of South Africa also offered to host the next ANAF meeting following the World Aquaculture Society meeting to be held in Cape Town during 26–30 June 2017. This could be a good opportunity to promote ANAF at the international level.