Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page

A welcome to the Delegates of the FAO/SAIAB Fisheries and Aquaculture Information Networking in Africa Workshop


Paul Skelton
South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity
Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa

It gives me great pleasure to welcome all the delegates to this exciting workshop, here in Grahamstown. The pleasure derives not only from the fact that you are present here in our small Eastern Cape town but also from the nature of the project itself. It is a collaborative and participatory project involving individuals and organizations that share a common ideal of providing access to knowledge as a means of upliftment of African people. The networking aspect is vital - and a modern response to the problem of isolation in physical and economic terms that almost every one of the participants suffers from.

For SAIAB that isolation was particularly hard to endure during the years when South Africa was in the political wilderness. Then we knew of the efforts of the FAO to uplift African fisheries knowledge but were unable to play a part. Now, nearly 10 years after our liberating democracy, we can do so. We are still fairly isolated from the areas where so much of African inland and other small-scale fisheries takes place, but thanks to modern IT that isolation can be overcome. We and our key partners, the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science (Rhodes University) and NISC-SA, have over the years built up a fine library of books, journals and articles, as well as so-called grey literature. We have also worked hard together with our partner NISC-SA to ensure that this is accessible to the widest audience possible. Our connections to other libraries dealing with fisheries matters in Africa needs strengthening and extension and there is no better way than by doing this through using the extensive connections of FAO. Through the energies and enthusiasm of both Margaret Crampton of NISC, Jean Collins of FAO and Margie Shaw (SAIAB) this particular networking project has materialized and developed. We in SAIAB are really pleased to be in a position to assist and facilitate the objectives of FAO to provide relevant literature to the libraries that FAO has linked together over the years.

But a particular pleasure derives from the fact that as individuals you are here in person to meet and solve the problems that the project has encountered. It is always easier to solve such problems when you are dealing with a known friend and not just a faceless name. How nice it is to see these African friendships blossoming here in Grahamstown. Thank you for coming and attending the workshop. I trust that your discussions will be warm and fruitful and that at the end you will return to your own libraries better equipped to provide the literature that fisheries in Africa needs for its development and wise management. Enjoy your time in Grahamstown.

Access to Information - The Achilles Heel of African Fisheries Science and Technology


T. Hecht
Department Ichthyology and Fisheries Science
Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa









Research in Africa will continue to stagnate with measurable consequences in terms of all development goals - and no improvements in terms of:

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page