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African Legal Support Facility and African Natural Resources Centre strengthen capacity in negotiating fisheries agreements and licences
The African Legal Support Facility (ALSF), in partnership with the African Natural Resources Centre of the African Development Bank, recently held a capacity development workshop to support coastal African countries in effectively negotiating fisheries agreements and concessions.
The workshop took place 2-6 July at the Protea Centurion Marriott Hotel in Pretoria, South Africa. A similar workshop was earlier held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in May for a first batch of coastal countries. Both workshops were organised based on official languages of the countries.
Welcoming participants, Chief Natural Resources Officer Jean-Louis Kromer of the African Natural Resources Centre stressed that strengthening the capacity of countries in the negotiation of fisheries agreements was an excellent example of how the Centre assists African countries to increase benefits from the exploitation of their natural resources.
African Development Bank Agricultural Economist, Joseph Coompson, representing the Bank’s Acting Regional Director General for South Africa, Josephine Ngure, opened the workshop.
Fisheries legal expert Kwame Mfodwo conducted the workshop. It specifically targeted officials from relevant government ministries. The 25 participants from 14 countries benefited from negotiation simulations, and shared their experiences with one another. They were able to avail themselves of tools to negotiate fishing agreements and licenses in their best interest.
Organisers noted the keen awareness by countries of the need to strengthen their capacity to negotiate fisheries agreements and licences. “Their objective is to manage fisheries resources effectively and use these resources in the most sustainable way possible,” said Kromer. The countries’ aim is to generate higher incomes for themselves, and to develop value chains based on their natural resources. Improving governance of the fisheries sector is expected to reduce Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, which represents a significant loss for the African continent. As a result, several countries specifically asked the ALSF and the African Natural Resources Centre for capacity building workshops.
At the end of the exercise, participants received certificates from ALSF Legal Counsels Shaina Salman and Sarah Sameur. “The workshop provided an important forum for fruitful discussions on fisheries access agreements,” said Salman. “It is a greatly needed step in the right direction, and will certainly improve future negotiations of access agreements,” Sameur added.
Some officials said the tools and lessons learned would soon be put to good use in forthcoming fisheries negotiations in their countries.
About the ALSF
The African Legal Support Facility is an international organisation hosted by the African Development Bank Group. The Facility is dedicated to providing legal advice and technical assistance to African countries in their negotiation of complex commercial transactions, creditor litigation and other related sovereign transactions. The ALSF also develops and proposes innovative tools for capacity building and knowledge management.
About the African Natural Resources Centre
The African Natural Resources Centre is a non-lending department of the African Development Bank. The Centre’s mandate is to assist African countries in maximising development derived from their natural resources. It seeks to strengthen the capacity of African countries to achieve inclusive and sustained growth from these resources. To achieve this, the Centre provides practical knowledge and expertise, advisory services, technical assistance and advocacy for improved and transparent management of renewable and non-renewable resources.
ALSF African Natural Resources Centre
Shaina Salman Jean-Louis Kromer
Legal Counsel Chief Natural Resources Management Officer
African Legal Support Facility African Natural Resources Centre
Tel. +225 20 26 55 68 / Tel. +225 2026 3331