African Women Fish Processors and Traders Network (AWFISHNET) Profile
AWFISHNET is a continental network of women fish processors and traders in Africa that operates as a non-profit, non-political and non-religious network. It is a platform that seeks to strengthen women fish workers’ position and contribution to the continental agenda of ending Hunger in Africa and halving Poverty by the year 2025, given their key role as active players in the fisheries sector and of African society in line with existing regional and global instruments, policies and strategies.
The network exists as a coordinating body for all its members involved in fish processing and trade in Africa. The network was established in April 2017 with the support of AU-AIBAR in collaboration with partners following the request from the members in late 2016. AWFISHNET members use the network as a consultative mechanism to strengthen institutional coordination and collaboration with respect to matters that affect their interests as women fish processors and traders. Its membership is composed of 28 nation-level members across the African continent.
AWFISHNET in Summary
During the AWFISHNET’s launch in April 2017, members deliberated that, the country elected as the secretariat will house the network until the General Assembly decides otherwise. The Executive Director of EMEDO was elected as the secretary General to the network and hence EMEDO assumed the responsibility of hosting the network’s secretariat in Mwanza Tanzania.
1st JUNE to 31th DECEMBER 2018
The overall objective of the project is to contribute to a gender-fair society and a gender- responsive fisheries sector in Africa that recognizes, utilizes and enhances women’s capabilities and potential for sustainable and equitable development, food security, poverty eradication and safeguarding of the environment. It also aims to contribute to enhanced knowledge generation and dialogue between policy makers, civil society and scientists in order to develop fisheries and related policies that better account for the environment and realities of marginalized coastal and inland people living in poverty and to help bridge between policy formulation and implementation.
The project specifically focuses on
- Strengthening the organizational capacities of women fish worker organizations (national associations) where they already exist, and to establish new ones where they do not yet exist and
- Strengthen the internal, institutional and organizational capacities of AWFISHNET and its members for effective engagement in policy processes and methods which contribute to environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, equity and sustainable livelihoods.
23rd and 24th, July 2018
First bureau meeting of AWFISHNET
The first Bureau meeting of the AWFISHNET was held in Dar es salaam, at Sleep Inn Hotel, Tanzania. The meeting was hosted by Environmental Management and Economic Development Organization (EMEDO) a local organization that hosts the secretariat of AWFISHNET. This meeting was graced by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in Tanzania.
The AWFISHNET Bureau meeting was technically and financially supported by the AU-IBAR following its commitment to implementing the African Unions Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (PFRS) that seeks to mainstream the fisheries and aquaculture sector towards achieving the CAADP goals. An essential element of the CAADP and PFRS is the empowering fisher women whose major role in the continental post-harvest and fish supply chains is well recognized and appreciated.
The bureau meeting was convened with the objective of taking stock of the Progress in the implementation of the AWFISHNET’s action plan; to reflect on what has worked, what has not and why, and what can be done to improve. While learning from the one-year existence, the bureau also sought to identify priorities and strategize on the way forward.
The meeting also aimed at developing an AWFISHNET’s capacity empowerment program that responds to the needs of the members; and to develop resource mobilization strategy and map potential partners that would support AWFISHNET towards realizing its vision. The expected outputs of the bureau meeting include; Updates on the status of implementation of the AWFISHNET’s action plan.
17th April 2019
Second bureau meeting of AWFISHNET
The second Bureau meeting held on the 17th April 2019 in Dar Es Salaam at Mbezi Beach garden, one day prior to the First General Assembly of the network. The second Bureau meeting was conducted parallel to the first AWFISHNET general Assembly, and was held in both French and English. Throughout the meeting all members were given an opportunity to speak freely and they were frequently encouraged to do so.
The main objective for the bureau was as follows; Since this meeting is held prior to the General Assembly, the main objective has been to engage the network leaders/bureau members into the final preparations towards a successful general assembly. The ground work has been done by EMEDO the secretariat to the Network.Other objectives were;
- To get set and organize the final agenda for the first AWFISHNET’s General Assembly. (Noted that the draft agenda was shared prior to the Bureau meeting to solicit comments).
- Review the program for the AWFISHNET General Assembly. (It was reported that the Bureau was in charge of the AWFISHNET General Assembly.)
- Agree on the agenda for the Bureau meeting (Bureau members had agreed prior to the meeting that the agenda for the Bureau meeting would be discussed at the meeting itself.)