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4.1 Manpower training in aquaculture technologies
4.2 Manpower training in management
4.3 Aquaculture research in the region
4.4 Management of credit
4.5 Associations of professionals in the region
4.6 Information for professionals
4.7 Technical assistance projects in the sob-sector
4.8 Capital assistance projects in the sub-sector

4.1 Manpower training in aquaculture technologies

At the level of national infrastructure there is a shortage of trained manpower. Mid-level and lower-level staff are recruited from among candidates of elementary and general education, and trained on the job. In some countries they are recruited from among graduates of agricultural, forestry, animal production, or fisheries colleges (see 3.1). However, as there are few fisheries stations, hatcheries, and extension services operating in the region, many personnel may not always get job satisfaction. Similarly, production from the sector is low, hence there are few opportunities yet in marketing or in elements of post-harvest technology.

Senior staff are recruited from among graduates trained in the biological sciences or other relevant fields such as agriculture and agricultural engineering. However, as aquaculture does not as yet have an image in the region, most graduates prefer more attractive government departments such as agriculture, forestry, or wildlife, where career advancement and job satisfaction are likely to be better.

There are no universities which provide a departmental graduate or post-graduate degree in aquaculture in the region.

A number of institutions in Cameroon, CAR, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe (Table 6) have a component of aquaculture in some of their graduate and post-graduate programmes in the biological sciences and other relevant fields, such as fisheries and agriculture. Courses within these components include biology, fish husbandry, production systems and practices, and fish breeding, with some practical work, at the graduate level, and research at the post-graduate level. The number of hours devoted to aquaculture ranges from 5 hours at the University of Ghana to over 40 hours at the University of Ibadan.

There are programmes for a B.Sc. degree in marine biology and oceanography at the University of Tanzania; for M.Sc. hydrobiology at the University of Nairobi in Kenya; for M.Sc. animal production and Ingénieur Halieutes at the University of Madagascar; and for the graduate and post-graduate programmes of the University of Ibadan (Nigeria).

There is a shortage of outdoor facilities for experimental production and culture work in most of the universities. The University of Ghana has only 4 ponds, while at Ibadan there are only 6 ponds. There are no outdoor facilities in Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, or Senegal. All the institutions have laboratories but many of them need upgrading and strengthening.

The UNDP/FAO African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC) in Port Harcourt, Nigeria trained 131 senior aquaculturists in six one-year courses from 1980-86. Of these, 129 received the ARAC Diploma in Aquaculture, and 1 the ARAC Certificate in Aquaculture. A total of 81 went on to obtain the degree of M.Tech.(Aquaculture) from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology which affiliated with the programme. The courses were bilingual. The majority of anglophone trainees (48) were from the host country, Nigeria, followed by Kenya (15), Tanzania and Zambia (5), the Gambia, Ghana, and Malawi (3), Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe (2) and Ethiopia and Liberia (1). Among the francophone countries were Congo (7), CAR and Gabon (6), Guinea (4) Côte d'Ivoire (3), Cameroon, Mali, and Rwanda (2) and Burundi, Mauritania, Senegal, and Zaïre (1). One trainee, a francophone, came from Haiti, outside the region. Seventeen of 131 graduates were women.

Special high-level technical training courses have been organized in the region by FAO, other international organizations, and by the governments of some of the countries. These have been described in 3.2.

4.2 Manpower training in management

As aquaculture is not developed in the region, manpower training in business, farm and credit management, and in research is lacking. Graduates from ARAC and agriculture-trained graduates working in the aquaculture sector have basic working knowledge in these disciplines. A number of trainees from the region participated in a Fish Farm Management course organized by FAO in Hungary in 1987, with the financial assistance of the Arab Gulf Programme for UN Development Organizations (AGFUND).

4.3 Aquaculture research in the region

The region has a long history of aquaculture research. Almost all the countries concerned have been active in research, much of which has been applied and empirical in nature.

Prior to the 1980s the most well-known centres for applied research included the Djoumouna fish station in Congo; the CTFT/Division de Recherches Piscicoles at Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire; the Sagana Fish Farm in Kenya; the Analamazaotra and Ampamaherana fish farms in Madagascar; the Kajansi fish culture station in Uganda; the Kipopo fish station in Zaïre; the Chilanga Fish station in Zambia; and the Henderson Research Centre in Zimbabwe. Except at the research centre at Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire, now known as "Institut de Savannes" (IDESSA), and at Chilanga, Zambia, research work at all the other stations has been discontinued. The work at the Henderson Centre in Zimbabwe is being restarted through an FAO TCP project.

A major initiative in research support for the region was provided by the UNDP/FAO through the creation of ARAC in Nigeria. ARAC was intended to conduct lead research for the region. Unfortunately it was not able to fulfil this role due to the lack of adequate facilities. ARAC has succeeded in building a group of senior aquaculturists with some research training, spread throughout Africa (see 4.1), who should/could serve as the nucleus for future research and development of aquaculture in the region. However, the region is devoid of well-equipped research centres. Most laboratories have been neglected, and their equipment is outdated or in need of replacement parts which cannot be purchased because of economic hardships. Outdoor facilities are also in disrepair (see 4.1) and, where they still exist, the number of ponds are few and do not permit well designed experimental production and culture work to be carried out in a single location. In view of the fact that most of the research needs of the region are applied in nature, they could be carried out by research staff now in place if facilities were refurbished and upgraded.

Compared with other regions there is little national research in aquaculture in Africa. The following analysis of aquaculture publications (by percentage of total publications as indexed) supports this statement as follows:

Region treated

Developed Countries

Developing Countries









Australia/New Zealand



Europe (including USSR)



Middle East





Source: Aquaculture Abstracts (2), 1985

A similar pattern was obtained by the International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) in 1984 in an analysis of the characteristics of tropical fisheries literature.

The following countries presently have aquaculture research institutes or fisheries research institutes, at which research on aquaculture can be undertaken:


Centre Piscicole National at Djoumouna

Côte d'Ivoire

IDESSA, Bouaké for freshwater, and CRO, Fisheries Research Station, Layo, for brackishwater.


Centre National de Recherches Océanographiques (CNRO) for brackishwater at Nosy Be

Freshwater stations at Analamazaotra, Ampamaherana and Kianjasoa


Institute of Aquatic Biology, Aquaculture Research Centre, Akosombo.


NIOMR Inland Fish Culture Station, Aluu, Port Harcourt, and Kainji Lake Research Institute for freshwater; Buguma for brackishwater.


Aquaculture Research Centre at Foumban for freshwater, and Fisheries Research Station, Limbe, for brackishwater.


Chilanga Fish Culture Station.


Domasi Fish Farm.


Maseru Hatchery and Fish Farm.


Sagana Fish Farm and Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute.

At present only the Djoumouna station in Congo, the IDESSA and CRO fish research stations in Côte d'Ivoire, the four stations in Madagascar, the Domasi Fish Farm in Malawi, and the Chilanga Fish Station in Zambia are operating normally, but not necessarily carrying out research. The facilities in most of the other institutions, including the so-called "lead" centres of the 1960s, are in a state of disrepair or are inadequate.

The centres in Cameroon and Ghana are new and are still under construction, the former since 1986, and the latter since 1982.

The programme objectives of IDESSA, CRO, and Chilanga include the development of techniques for mass production of local fish species and low cost technology systems for local farmers to increase fish production. IDESSA is undertaking researcher-farmer collaborative research using systems developed under the UNDP/FAO Aquaculture Development Project in the country. The three operating institutions have good facilities. IDESSA, for example, has 60 ponds (2.8 ha water surface), 14 raceways, 24 aquaria plus laboratories, classrooms, and offices.

ICLARM is working in association with national researchers for the development of tropical aquaculture technology at Domasi Fish Farm in Malawi. ICLARM is cooperating mainly with the SADCC countries. System research on integrated fish fanning has been carried out in Zambia for the last 8 years.

Several universities in the region, for example, the University of Nairobi (Kenya); the Universities of Calabar, Ibadan, Lagos, Nsukka, and Rivers State, all in Nigeria (see 4.1); and the University of Malawi, also undertake research in aquaculture.

The FAO publishes a list of personnel active in aquaculture research in Africa. Based on this most recent publication there are probably over 100 aquaculture researchers or potential researchers in the region.

4.4 Management of credit

Credit management is not a priority as the volume of credit available and utilized is usually small. Studies on the modalities for granting loans to fish farmers have been undertaken in CAR, Côte d'Ivoire, Madagascar, and Zambia. However, there is need for training of both aquaculture personnel and bank managers, especially officers-in-charge of credit; the former on the production of appropriate information materials and the latter (bank officials) in the sector and its practices. This training can be done through seminars and short-term specialist courses.

4.5 Associations of professionals in the region

Unlike the agricultural and forestry sectors, which have professional societies in many countries, there are no professional societies in the aquaculture sector. In Nigeria aquaculturists are members of the broader fisheries association, the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON). In other countries aquaculturists meet under the umbrella of their respective fisheries administrations.

FISON and the fisheries administrations in some countries have organized meetings, seminars, workshops, etc. which contain certain aspects of aquaculture. In Nigeria, for example, the Fifth Conference of FISON, held at Ilorin in 1986, was devoted to the theme "Investment Opportunities in Commercial Aquaculture in Nigeria". In 1981 the Kenya Department of Fisheries, in collaboration with the Kenya Marine Fisheries Institute, organized a Symposium on the "Identification of future priorities in Fisheries Research in Kenya". More recently the Fisheries Department in Tanzania, in collaboration with the University of Dar es-Salaam, organized a 3-day national seminar on "Fisheries Policy and Planning" at the University of Dar es-Salaam.

The Hydrobiological Society of Eastern Africa, an association of biologists mainly based in Kenya, with members in Tanzania and Uganda and other countries, was formed in 1985. It has not been active in recent years.

There are no aquaculture research networks in the region. Some professionals have opportunities to meet and share ideas and experiences at conferences, meetings, or workshops organized by FAO and other international organizations, such as the International Foundation for Science (IFS) of Sweden, and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada.

The main aquaculture workshops and meetings which have taken place in the past 5 years include the Seventh Session of CIFA held at Accra, Ghana, in December 1987, and the "SADCC Workshop on the Development of Village Level and Commercial Aquaculture in the SADCC Region" held at Kariba, Zimbabwe in 1986. Both these meetings were under the auspices of FAO. The "Consultative Workshop on Village Level Aquaculture Development in Africa" was organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat at Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1985.

The IFS organized a seminar on "Aquaculture Research in the Africa Region" at Kisumu, Kenya, in 1985. IDRC and the UNDP/FAO Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme (ADCP) hosted their first workshop on "Research Priorities for African Aquaculture" at Dakar, Senegal, in 1986, and the second workshop in Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire, in 1988.

A few professionals in the region are members of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS). This society is based in the USA and disseminates scientific research information and arranges annual conferences. An affiliate of WAS is the European Aquaculture Society (EAS) based in Belgium. This society has members from the region and also arranges conferences in which the development of aquaculture in Africa is often discussed, for example in Amsterdam in 1987. Membership of these two societies is individual or commercial, and materials can also be obtained through library membership.

A few professionals in Africa have joined the recently-formed Asian Fisheries Society, which is based in the Philippines.

4.6 Information for professionals

There is evidence that aquaculture might have started in the region in South Africa in 1859. By 1977 at least 100 papers on research work carried out in the region had been published in international journals, or were available in manuscript form. However, scientists in the region have little access to this information, or more recent information on aquaculture, due to the lack of information centres, libraries, computer facilities, but also due to language problems and financial resources.

In the 1960s several good technical libraries for fisheries and aquaculture were established; for example, in the francophone countries of Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Congo, and Senegal, where CTFT/Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique Autre-Mer (ORSTOM) were active in aquatic research; in Ghana (Achimota) at the Institute of Aquatic Biology; in Nigeria (Lagos) at the West African Fisheries Research Institute; in Uganda (Jinja) at the East African Freshwater Fisheries Research Organization; in Zaïre at the Kipopo Research Station and at the INEAC Headquarters at Yangambi; in Zambia at the Chilanga Fish Station; and in Zimbabwe at the Henderson Research Centre. Few, if any, recent additions have been made to all these library collections since that time.

The best collection of aquaculture documents in the region is probably now in the care of the Nigerian Institute for Océanographie and Marine Research (NIOMR) at its inland fish culture station at Port Harcourt in Nigeria. This collection was the library of ARAC, the UNDP/FAO regional programme (see 4.1 and 6.4).

Presently there are two journals published in the region. These are "Kenya Aquatica" published by the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute" and the "West Africa Journal of Fisheries" published in Nigeria. Outside these more specific regional journals, scientists publish their work in broader based journals in their countries, in international journals, in proceedings of seminars, workshops, etc., or as technical papers of their institutions.

For countries throughout the region FAO remains the principal information resource base, although recently new inputs have been provided by CRO, ICLARM, and IDRC.

The largest resource of aquaculture information for scientific and technical professionals is in FAO, Rome, Italy. FAO produces a series of publications, many of which are relevant to aquaculture in Africa. These are FAO Fisheries Reports, FAO Fisheries Technical Papers, and FAO Fisheries Synopses. All titles are categorized and produced regularly. Some documents are free and others are priced.

The FAO Fisheries Departmental Library is probably the largest repository of books on fisheries and related topics dealing with the region, many of which are on aquaculture subjects. It also maintains a large serial collection on all subjects related to fish and fisheries received from fisheries institutes, government departments, and commercial publishers throughout the world. It also has special collections of documents on a country basis, and subject files.

The Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Information System (ASFIS) is an international information system for the Science, technology and management of marine and freshwater environments, including their socio-economic and legal aspects. The system's information outputs currently include: (1) the computer searchable ASFA database and its print product derivatives. Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) and ASFA Aquaculture Abstracts; (2) Marine Science Contents Tables (MSCT); (3) Freshwater and Aquaculture Contents Tables (FACT); (4) the ASFIS Meetings Register; and (5) the World List of Serial Titles in Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries.

For African countries the main international databases that include aquaculture are:

(1) ASFA-I (Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts);
(2) Biosis Previews (BioSciences Information Service publications);
(3) ICLARM (International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management);
(4) CAB Abstracts (Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International);
(5) AGRIS International (Agricultural Sciences and Technology);
(6) Clearing House for Fisheries Advisory Services (UNDP/FAO project).

Professionals have access to a considerable volume of information about aquaculture because of their proximity to the Mediterranean and European regions, and communications with Asia and North America. This is usually through library membership, individual membership, or personal subscription.

The European Aquaculture Society (EAS) based in Belgium publishes a regular Newsletter for members which also contains the contents of some abstracts of the more important aquaculture journals. It also publishes special volumes on aquaculture technology available at reduced rates to members. The EAS is an affiliate of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) which is based in the USA, and members have reciprocal benefits. The WAS produces the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society which is free to members.

The other specialist journals on aquaculture are obtained on subscription. These are Aquaculture (Netherlands), Aquaculture and Fisheries Management (UK), Aquaculture Engineering (UK), Bamidgeh/Journal of Aquaculture (Israel), Bulletin Français de la Pêche et de la Pisciculture (France), Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (Canada), Diseases of Aquatic Organisms (FRG), Journal of Fish Biology (UK), Journal of Fish Diseases (UK), Progressive Fish Culturist (USA), Transactions of the American Fisheries Society (USA), etc.

4.7 Technical assistance projects in the sob-sector

Academic and basic research is receiving some broad scientific and technical support through technical assistance and international cooperation. Some 137 scholarships were offered for ARAC trainees over a six year period (see 6.2). Thirty six scholarships were offered by the African Development Bank (AfDB), 22 from the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC) of the Commonwealth Secretariat, 11 from the European Economic Community (EEC), one from the German Foundation for International Development (GFID), 4 from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), 21 from UNDP/FAO projects, 2 from FAO, and 39 and 2 respectively from the Governments of Nigeria and Gabon.

Other scholarships and training opportunities have contributed to educational development. FAC (France), IDRC (Canada), IFS (Sweden), and ODA (UK) have been particularly supportive of graduate and post-graduate education and research, in addition to other institutions.

The IFS in Sweden currently provides research support for 8 scientists in Congo (2), Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, and Zambia, all working on projects from the biological control of schistosomiasis to sex reversal in tilapia. The Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries (SAREC) supports research in Cape Verde on the introduction of aquaculture into the country with supporting research and development: the IDRC of Canada supports research projects in Cameroon (2) for a socio-economic survey of rural fish culture, and for researcher-farmer trials of integrating fish farming, in Côte d'Ivoire (2) for fish farming using acadjas in the lagoons, and for researcher-farmer trials on culture technologies developed under the UNDP/FAO Freshwater Fish Culture Development project; in Gambia and Sudan on oyster culture; and in Malawi for polyculture systems.

The ODA of the United Kingdom supports nine research projects at the University of Stirling, Scotland, and one at the University of Swansea, Wales, relevant to tilapia breeding, genetics, and production practices, and the culture of other species, notably Macrobrachium spp., and turtles. Similarly, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in the Netherlands is supporting research on the culture of African catfishes; the US Agency for International Development supports research and development at a number of US universities and research organizations working on aspects of aquaculture relevant for the region under survey, including the pond dynamics/aquaculture Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) in Rwanda, in association with five other non-regional countries and research institutions in the USA. The other two are in support of institutions in the USA (Auburn University) and the Philippines (ICLARM) for research on tilapia.

Many aquaculture development projects have some research components. Most of the UNDP/FAO field projects support research, together with the various CTFT projects funded by FED (Benin), and FAC (Niger). The GTZ-funded ICLARM project in Malawi is a significant development for research in Southern Africa.

4.8 Capital assistance projects in the sub-sector

Some of the research projects listed in section 4.7 and, in particular, the IDRC-supported research undertaking in Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, and Malawi, as well as those financed by the IFS in Benin, Cape Verde, Congo, Madagascar, Lesotho, and Tanzania, have a small input of capital assistance. This was also the case for ARAC. There are no projects which currently provide support for capital construction of research facilities.

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