As part of the Blue Economy thematic projects, we point out that at the end of 2021 and until 2024, the Italian Agency for International Cooperation (AICS), together with other cooperation agencies of Germany, Portugal, France, of two agencies of the UN – Un Habitat and Unep – and the Jumuiya Ya Kaunti Za Pwani (Jkp) Secretariat, the body that represents the six coastal counties of Kenya, is committed (for 24 million euros) to financing projects on the African continent.
The “Go Blue” project aims precisely to encourage the African blue economy by promoting the development of the artisanal fishing chain (but that of cassava) with interventions in support of community organizations that manage fishing locally (the Beach Management Units, Bmu ), small fishermen and small and medium-sized enterprises. Actions that take the form of training activities conducted by Ciheam Bari, the supply of equipment and equipment, the construction of fishing infrastructures. Among the latter, for example, the refrigerators to preserve the fish once caught and the project to introduce an innovative quality certification system that will ensure compliance with the highest standards in fisheries management should be mentioned. A perfect example of this project is Mkwiro, a small and colorful fishing village of about a thousand inhabitants on the Kenyan island of Wasini, where AICS intervened, assisted by Ciheam Bari, through “Go Blue“. In this village, one of the main activities is the collection of algae.
Another program that is having success in the African context is “Nemo Kantara” in Tunisia. Here the AICS, always assisted by the scientific and technical support of Ciheam Bari, aims to preserve a fishing technique called charfiyah. This technique has been included by Unesco among the “intangible heritages” to be preserved also due to respect for the ecosystem and the principles of eco-sustainability at its base. The charfiyah is a labyrinth created by planting a large number of palm leaves in the seabed that creates corridors through which, thanks to the currents, the fish are channeled to the capture chambers. Here, the traps placed by fishermen are found. “Nemo Kantara – underlines Stefania Fantuz, Head of the rural development sector of AICS Tunis – is also a project that is serving to train and create alternatives where fishing has caused damage. In fact, for two years the government has banned the collection of clams because it had now become a significant source of ecological pressure“. AICS and Ciheam Bari, therefore, took action to support thousands of women who were dedicated to this type of activity, in the Medenine and Gabes areas, in particular, creating training courses to start new activities and diversify, co-financing the ideas deemed best, providing equipment and giving hope to fragile segments of the population who are left without an important economic resource.