May 31, 2023
UN says aquaculture holds key to alleviating poverty in Angola
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has highlighted the potential of aquaculture to uplift the Angolan population out of poverty, The Fish Site repoted.
Currently, Angola heavily relies on crude oil, which accounts for 93% of its exports. Insufficient productivity and limited opportunities in other economic sectors have left one-third of the population below the poverty line. The volatility of oil prices underscores the urgent need to diversify the country's economy and exports.
Paul Akiwumi, the director of UNCTAD's division for Africa and least developed countries, emphasized that the fisheries and aquaculture sector can play a crucial role in Angola's economic diversification and the achievement of its development goals. By leveraging the blue economy, Angola can create employment opportunities, boost trade, enhance food security, improve livelihoods, and reduce poverty.
UNCTAD is actively supporting Angola in building a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive blue economy through its EU-UNCTAD Joint Programme for Angola: Train for Trade II.
This programme addresses multiple economic policy areas simultaneously, including the development of value chains in green and creative sectors, transportation, investment, entrepreneurship, trade policy, and trade facilitation.
With funding from the European Union, UNCTAD has already trained 2,700 government officials, private sector representatives, academia, and civil society stakeholders.
The training focuses on overcoming the challenges faced by Angola's fisheries and aquaculture sector. For instance, it emphasises the importance of assessing fish stocks to gather essential data for effective control of fishing activities and the establishment of total allowable catch, which ensures sustainability.
It also provides training in modern fisheries techniques, entrepreneurial skills, and compliance with national and international safety and quality standards.
Jorge Quituta, the director general of Jorana, a fisheries firm in Angola, said it is important that the private sector contributes more to the country's blue economy. Currently, the sector's role is considered "very weak," and stakeholders require better guidance, technical and scientific knowledge, and practical skills.
Quituta expressed gratitude for UNCTAD's indispensable support and hopes for further assistance in the future.
UNCTAD has been actively engaged in capacity-building through its flagship programme, Empretec, which has equipped trainers in Angola to provide entrepreneurial training to firms operating in the fisheries, tropical fruits, and honey sectors.
Additionally, UNCTAD organized a training workshop in October 2022, where Angolan fisheries stakeholders learned from their counterparts in Vietnam, a global leader in seafood exports due to determined policies, capacity-building efforts, and investments.
In May 2023, UNCTAD and the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) conducted training for 50 Angolan stakeholders on meeting international standards required for expanding fish exports to lucrative markets in Asia, Europe, and the US.
These training initiatives have enabled Angolan authorities and stakeholders to identify gaps and develop action plans to harness the growing opportunities in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
- The Fish Site