To grow its aquaculture industry and reverse this trend, Africa needs farm-gate investments of US$ 1.8 billion annually to grow its aquaculture industry and curtail fish imports by 2050 under the business-as-usual (BAU) model compared to US$ 11.6 billion under the high aquaculture production scenario. Mobilizing this investment is a daunting challenge. Access to affordable financing has been a historical challenge for most industry players on the continent. Commercial loans have high interest rates and shorter repayment periods.

The industry is characterized by short value chain resulting in missed social and economic opportunities. To create longer value chains and generate more value has been slow as investments in upstream value chain activities, such as fish processing and value addition, is still low. In addition, growth of both aquaculture and capture fisheries has taken plan place in an environment with no insurance products or schemes suitable for the Aquatic Food Systems. Industry player have therefore continued to bear business risks.

The event will convene voices across the African continent to discuss the crucial role of sustainable and innovative financing in growing the aquaculture industry. The event will also discuss ways of resolving constraints around sustainable financing in order to unleash the potential of aquaculture.

Keynote Title: Thriving Aquatic Foods Through Innovative Financing 

Date: Tuesday, 14 November 2023

Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm CAT (Central African Time)

Location: Room 2, Mulungushi International Conference Centre

Representation from WorldFish: Essam Yassin Mohammed, Victor Siamudaala, Netsayi Mudege, Basiita Rose Komugisha, Mary Lundeba, Victoria Nkole, Patience Chungu and Keagan Kakwasha



Africa’s population is expected to reach 2.4 billion people by 2050. Nourishing this huge population is going to be challenging unless Africa addresses pervasive issues that have plagued its food system resulting in many decades of chronic food insecurity and poverty, and all forms of malnutrition. Malnutrition is severe in sub-Saharan Africa, where in 2022, up to 264.2 million people, about a quarter of the continent’s population,  where undernourished. Aquatic foods are highly nutritious and therefore essential to nourishing Africa and also delivering shared prosperity. Aquatic food systems has the potential to deliver 58 million jobs by 2050, if harnessed properly.

Applying the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agriculture Commodities and Trade (IMPACT), a policy analysis conducted by scientists at WorldFish, projects Africa’s fish sector to support 20.7 million jobs in 2030 under business-as-usual scenario, which shoots up to 46.3 million jobs by 2030 in a high-growth scenario.

Capture fisheries have continued to come under renewed threat from over-exploitation, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) and destruction of fisheries habitats. Dwindling fish stocks make aquaculture the obvious alternative to fill the supply gap, create jobs and enhance food security.  Otherwise, the continent will continue to be a net importer of fish unless its aquaculture industry grows at more current annual growth rate of 11%. In 2014 fish imports by African countries on the world market was US$ 4.8 billion. Potential for growth for aquaculture in Africa is enormous as the continent is endowed with abundant water resources, diverse aquatic species, low cost labor and, diverse and favourable climatic conditions.


Event Objectives:

  • Highlight the importance of innovative and sustainable financing to growth of gender-sensitive aquaculture,
  • Catalyze the unlocking public and private sector financing of inclusive aquaculture models;
  • Inspire financial institutions to create financial products and services suitable for aquaculture
  • Inspire governments to create policies and incentives among others to spur growth of aquaculture


Key Messages:

  • Increased financing is key to growing the aquaculture industry on the African continent for shared prosperity, job creation and a well-nourished and healthy population ;
  • Innovative financing (industry-tailored financing models and products) by public and private sector agencies is an essential key to unleashing the potential of Africa’s aquaculture industry;
  • Insurance schemes are critical to insulate value chain actors against hazards
  • Creation of enabling conditions by Government is fundamental to development of affordable financing products and services for aquaculture industry actors


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We look forward to your active participation.