Egypt's success and Africa's failure - how to explain different development trajectories in (tilapia) aquaculture. A case study of the (tilapia) aquaculture industry development in Africa.
Abstract: As various concerned scientists and organisations such as the UN, the World Bank, WFP, and FAO point out, global food security progressively turns out to be one of the major challenges that our human family faces nowadays. Among other factors, this is a function of rapid population growth, decreasing global food production due climate change. As they have always been an important traditional source of food fish, most of the conventional fisheries have either reached maximum output or are dwindling according to FAO (2016b). Thus, many, including FAO believe that the booming industry of fish farming plays an important role in meeting global fish needs (Cunningham 2005). Africa is among the regions FAO believe are most promising in terms of increasing global aquaculture production (FAO 2017c). Paradoxically, the continent is still the least productive area in the world, except one country – Egypt. While Egypt flies among the highest productive aquaculture nations, the rest of the continent fails to take-off despite the efforts of many international development countries who have for years invested to help the industry take-off. This case study investigated this mystery with the hope to find out the factors underpinning Egypt’s success and Africa’s failure. To do so, I studied the course of tilapia aquaculture (which constitutes 95% of continent’s production) in Africa in a period of 25 years – from 1990 and 2015. Besides exploring FAO’s databases for aquaculture production statics, I reviewed 19 literature pieces relevant to the state and the course of aquaculture in Africa. The analysis showed that limited alternative food sources; strong yet growing market demand; political will; effective administrative; and extension services were the key factors for Egypt’s success as aquaculture producer. On the other hand, a plentiful supply of conventional fisheries; lack of political will; weak institutional foundations; and backfiring international donor initiated development aid appears to be the complex blocking the development of aquaculture industry in Africa. However, due to reliance on only second-hand data and simplifying judgements on such a large pool of countries, these conclusions should be taken with a pinch of salt. In its place, a closer, more explicit research is recommended in this concern.
PublisherUiT The Arctic University of Norway
UiT Norges arktiske universitet
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