The first Aquaculture Africa Conference and Exposition 2021 is finally happening in Alexandria, Egypt (25-28 March 2022) – after a couple of postponements due to COVID-19. Over 700 participants have registered for both conference and exhibition visits, with over 70% being Africans, coming from disciplines ranging from state actors, researchers, academics, consultants, private sector operators, farmers, exhibitors, development partners and other actors interested or active in African aquaculture – where they expect to meet other global leaders and actors in aquaculture. The exhibition space is now fully booked with over 50 international exhibitors expected to pitch their stands in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
In addition to the usual WAS style conference oral and poster presentation sessions, several organizations from Africa and beyond have booked special technical sessions, seminars, meetings — and several are sponsoring groups of people to attend AFRAQ21. The Conference theme is “Sustainable Aquaculture – Feeding Africa”.
The Convention Centre, the famous Bibliotheca Alexandrina is ready for the event, having put in place COVID-19 public protocols in place. To ensure the health and safety of all conference attendees, only vaccinated attendees will enter the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Rapid Antigen COVID-19 tests will be conducted on the first day for all those entering the Convention Centre. For more information on Covid-19 protocols, visit: https://www.was.org/meeting/pdf/AFRAQ21_CovidInfo.pdf
The Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation in Egypt is expected to grace the official opening ceremony of the Conference including the opening of the exhibition, scheduled for Saturday 26th March. Other important dignitaries expected to give opening remarks include the Governor of Alexandria, General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD), Africa Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Agricultural Research Centre, Egypt and WorldFish. The WAS president, Dr. Antonio Garza President is expected to be present throughout the Conference. We also look forward to a special plenary speech on “Status of Aquaculture in Egypt” by world renowned Professor Abdel-Fatah El-Sayed from the University of Alexandria, Egypt.
“I believe the array of technical sessions resonates well with the conference theme: “Sustainable Aquaculture-Feeding Africa”. I can see sessions on aquatic animal health, feeds and nutrition and environmental management in sync with the conference theme and being among some of the hot topics on aquaculture development in Africa today. Other sessions such as the finance/investment session, education/training and socio-economics are equally important to the journey on sustainable aquaculture in Africa. We are looking forward to the presentations, and to learn lessons from each other out of these sessions”, says Dr. Sherif Sadek, the WAS-AC President and also Conference Co-Chair.
This inaugural conference for the WAS AC is expected to bring forth some lessons on how the organization can in future effectively deliver more of these annual continental events, with the 2nd Aquaculture Africa Conference planned for the later part of 2023 in Zambia, and in Ghana in 2024.
AFRAQ21 is organized in collaboration with the General Authority for Fish Resource Development (GAFRD) Egypt, Central Laboratory for Aquaculture Research (CLAR) and WorldFish. AllerAqua is the conference’s Gold Sponsor. Silver sponsors are AquaGroup and the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) while Grand Fish Feed is the Break Sponsor. Traditional WAS premium sponsors onboard include Blue Aqua, Kemin, MSD, Zeigler, DSM and USSEC. Other conference sponsors include the Africa Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Egyptian Union of Fishermen Co-operatives (EUFC) and the Egyptian Aquaculture Society (EgAS). Various session sponsors are listed in the Conference Programme Book, now available on the website: https://www.was.org/meeting/code/AFRAQ20