Background

Aquaculture in Africa, which supplies less than 3 percent of fish production, has been growing slowly. Per capita fish consumption in Africa is the lowest in all regions and, according to the FAO 2014, is the only part of the world where consumption is declining. The reason for this decline had been the leveling off in capture fish production and the growing population. The degradation of aquatic environments through human activity and the potential impact of climate change on marine and freshwater ecosystems are some of the factors hindering aquaculture production from achieving its potential. There are many other constraints, which range in nature from biological to technical, economic and environmental. Other than these are the institutional weaknesses. In some countries, there is lack of coordination between the existing directorates and/or agencies that share aquaculture regulatory responsibility. There are legislations that may not be in harmony with present and future status of the industry, and there are unclear or conflicting priorities within the policy making and regulatory spheres. There is a need for improved governance and management systems, collaboration between different stakeholders and targeted investments in infrastructure and marketing to accelerate the growth of aquaculture in the region.

All the above-mentioned constraints led to the decision taken at the 14 th Session of the Committee for Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture (CIFAA) held in Accra, Ghana in November 2006, to establish a “NACA-Like” network called Aquaculture Network for Africa (ANAF). ANAF was launched in 2006 with four Members of which has now increased to fourteen participating countries.

Expansion of the network to other countries is still ongoing, promoting institutional strengthening to ensure aquaculture development maximises its potential to improve regional food security and nutrition.