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MEA Bulletin - Guest Article No. 101a - Monday, 4 October 2010
Lake Tanganyika Authority / Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Technical Assistance Agreement signed
By Henry Mwima, Executive Director of the Lake Tanganyika Authority, and Kaitira Ibrahim Katonda, Director of Fisheries of the Lake Tanganyika Authority
On 10 September 2010, the Lake Tanganyika Authority (LTA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signed the Technical Assistance Agreement for the Project to Support the Lake Tanganyika Integrated Regional Development Programme (PRODAP). The Technical Assistance Agreement was signed by the two parties and endorsed by three Lake Tanganyika riparian governments of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania at a brief ceremony held at the Ministry of External Relations and International Cooperation in Bujumbura, Burundi. The Government of the Republic of Zambia is expected to endorse the Agreement through the Ambassador based in Tanzania but also accredited to Burundi.

The LTA is responsible for advancing and representing the common interests of the four Lake Tanganyika riparian governments of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia in matters concerning sustainable management of Lake Tanganyika and its Basin. The LTA and FAO held some consultations regarding management and other support services for PRODAP to be provided by FAO. PRODAP, which aims at rationalizing the exploitation of the fishery resources, protecting the lake environment in a sustainable manner, and reducing the poverty of the Lake Tanganyika Basin communities, is a multinational project supported by the African Development Bank, Nordic Development Fund and co-financed by the four riparian governments. The LTA, after consultations with the four riparian countries and the African Development Bank, has decided to use the proceeds of the African Development Fund Grant to finance the FAO technical assistance services for PRODAP.

PRODAP is one of the components of the Lake Tanganyika Regional Integrated Development and Management Programme (LTRIDMP), which includes priority interventions identified in the Strategic Action Programme and the Framework Fisheries Management Plan for the lake. The LTRIDMP is based on the needs expressed by the riparian communities and is consistent with the objectives of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers of the four riparian countries. Supporting partners for the LTRIDMP include the African Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the Global Environment Facility, the Nordic Development Fund, FAO, the World Conservation Union and the United Nations Environment Programme.

The LTA/FAO Technical Assistance Agreement will, over the 18-month period, address the lack of sustainable and responsible fisheries management on Lake Tanganyika as well as the preservation of the quality of the aquatic ecosystems of the lake. Furthermore, technical assistance will facilitate effective involvement in the implementation of the LTRIDMP by and between the four riparian governments. The envisaged outputs/benefits include: training of stakeholders within the fisheries and environmental management sub-sectors; baseline information on the fisheries resources and establishment of Fisheries Information System; improved and sustainable fisheries management; improved environmental management; harmonized fisheries policies and legislation; harmonized data collection system for catch assessments; updating the Framework Fisheries Management Plan; development of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance system; reduction of post-harvest losses; development of a co-management system; and improved landing sites.

The rationale for seeking FAO’s services is because FAO has been involved in the development of the Framework Fisheries Management Plan which was based on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Furthermore, FAO has a broad and long experience in providing assistance to the riparian countries regarding fisheries management issues.

For more information, visit:
Signing of the LTA/FAO Technical Assistance Agreement, Bujumbura, Burundi on 10 September 2010. R-L: Augustin Nsanze, Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation, Republic of Burundi; Henry Mwima, Executive Director of the LTA; Arlindo Braganca Gomes, FAO Representative in Burundi; Salomon Banamuhere Baliene, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Burundi; and James Mwasi Nzagi, Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania in Burundi.
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