Africa’s Blue Economy Champion- the Seychelles - welcomes CAP-F
Africa’s Blue Economy Champion, the Seychelles is the latest country to call for the implementation of the Country Agribusiness Partnership Framework (CAP-F). All CAADP countries are encouraged to establish CAP-F as an output of the National Agriculture Investment Plan refresh or appraisal.
Grow Africa’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Ibrahim Gourouza-Magagi, officially kicked-off the CAP-F process in the Seychelles with a briefing to the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Hon. Charles Bastienne on 13 March 2019. The briefing was intended to introduce CAP-F to the Ministry, as the official entry point into the country. During the engagement, the following issues were highlighted: Grow Africa’s engagement model - with a strong focus on value chain development as well as the value-addition of CAP-F in pursuing a coordinated approach in terms of facilitating investment into the agriculture sector. The Minister, together with the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Mr Antoine Moustache and the CAADP Focal Point, Ms Mermedah Moustache welcomed CAP-F and were positive about the role that Grow Africa can play in facilitating and stimulating private sector investment into aquaculture in particular which is one of the prioritized areas contained in the Seychelles National Agriculture Investment Plan (SNAIP) as well as in the country’s Blue Economy Roadmap approved in 2018.
In the case of the Seychelles, it is evident that the archipelago is well advanced regarding the development of policies and strategies, what is of utmost importance as emphasised by the Minister, is the need to move towards implementation. In so doing, all efforts will need to be aligned to the direction in which the country is moving in terms of the Blue Economy and the role that aquaculture plays therein in order to maximise impact. The Seychelles, as the Blue Economy Champion, is committed to showcasing tangible results in this sector so as to set an example for other island nations wising to leverage off of their geographic positioning for economic development.
The above briefing was followed by engagements with the Blue Economy Department in the Vice President’s Office and the Seychelles Fishing Authority. Both consultations bolstered the recognition of the immense potential that lies in the development of the aquaculture sector and related positive spin-offs such as of job creation, improving food security and growing the economy. Going forward, Grow Africa will contribute to the finalization of the Integrated Agriculture-Aquaculture Hub which will contain amongst others, a finfish hatchery, ornamental fish facility, sea urchin facility, mud crab hatchery and pearl oyster hatchery as key lead-in projects to kick-start the aquaculture sector. Attracting investments into this project will be of critical importance.
The Grow Africa delegation also paid a courtesy visit to the Mayor of Victoria Town, Mr. David Andre to outline CAP-F plans going forward. The Mayor was receptive and echoed the sentiments of the Minister in terms of the Blue Economy, in particular aquaculture, being a strategic focus area of Government.
The next stage in the roll-out of CAP-F in Seychelles will be the carrying out of a country stocktaking exercise to determine the level of in-country resourcing and priorities for CAP-F implementation. During the stocktaking exercise a cross section of stakeholders in the aquaculture sector will be engaged to determine priority issues for policy engagement, existing sectoral coordination mechanisms, and accountability architecture. The outcome of the stocktaking exercise will be a CAP-F Roadmap with specific deliverables, responsibilities and timeframesfor all key parties - government, private sector, development partners, and other Non-State actors towards mobilising increased private sector investment in agriculture.