West African Association for the Development of Artisanal Fisheries (WADAF)
over the weekend organised a Training of Trainers course for various heads of fisherfolk
in The Gambia.
The training of trainers course targeted 21 participants for each of the two modules, and was held at the Bakau Community Center Friday and Saturday.
The module two training course was held at the Fisheries Department in Banjul, from 27 to 28 November.
The training of trainers’ course was in two modules; the first was focusing on management of marine and coastal ecosystems and fisheries co-management, while the second module focused on standards of international, regional, sub-regional and national trade and impacts on fisheries professionals.
According to the executive secretary of WADAF, Moussa Mbengue, the project is a follow up to the first project of strengthening and structuring of capacities of artisanal fisheries professional organisations in the seven countries of the Sub Regional Fisheries Commission in West Africa, rolled out between 2010 and 2013.
He said that the project focused on the training of 21 leaders carrying along with them collective actions in favour of their AFPO, and of which 7 had been financed during that phase.
According to him, the new project, which should last for three years, consolidated the impressive results of the first phase.
It basically aims to strengthen the professional and political skills of the artisanal fisheries professional organisations, and their autonomy in order to improve their influence capability on fisheries public policies in the seven countries covered by the sub regional fisheries commission.
In this respect, he added, the main activity of the project is to continue and strengthen the training of the 45 leader fishermen, fish whole-sellers and fish processors from those 21 formed in the first phase and 24 new others.
Overall, he said, there are five training modules; management of marine and coastal ecosystem and co-management of sea resources (M.1); standard on international, regional, sub-regional and national trade and impacts on artisanal fisheries professional (M.2); management of fisheries processing sites and artisanal valuation techniques of artisanal fisheries product (M.3); management of organisation, equipment and infrastructures (M.4); communication and advocacy (M.5)
These modules were subject to an elaboration and adaption workshop held in Dakar, followed by another regional workshop on the technical-launch of the training activity.
According to the executive secretary of WADAF, the first training sessions of module one, management of marine and coastal ecosystem and co-management of fisheries, were held respectively in Senegal for the French-speaking countries such as Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea as well as Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde for the Portuguese-speaking.
The Gambia and Sierra Leone participated in the English- speaking session, he added.
These training activities were focused on the 24 new leaders, their alternates, the UPO and the national correspondents of the seven beneficiary countries of the project.
The trained leaders must make a restitution of the training sessions in their respective artisanal fisheries professional organisations, he said.
It was in this context that WADAF organised a restitution session of module 1 to allow the trained leaders fishermen of Bakau Fisherman Association of Gambia to make a restitution of the training activity.
According to him, the overall objective is to contribute to the strengthening of the technical and political skills of artisanal fisheries professionals, to better harness their involvement in the sustainability of fisheries in West Africa.
According to him, the expectation at the end of the training was for members of the Bakau fisherman Association, who participated in the session, to be able to talk about the fisheries socio-economic, environmental and political setting in the region covered by the sub- regional fisheries commission.
In his opening remarks, Gibri Gabis, the Fisheries representative, spoke about the importance attached to the training of training course, and urged participants to take the training course seriously and to disseminate the information received.
He commended the executive secretary of WADAF for his continuing support towards the welfare of the fisherfolk.
The training session was chaired by Dawda Saine of the Department of Fisheries.