Knowledge exchange between Asia and Africa is the backbone of WorldFish’s new Asia–Africa BlueTech Superhighway (AABS) project
Under the newly launched WorldFish-led Asia–Africa BlueTech Superhighway (AABS) project, a pioneering South-South collaboration platform is being developed, centred around knowledge sharing and co-learning for adaptation and scaling of proven aquatic food systems technologies across countries. As a start, AABS brought together research, conservation, development, and policy experts from the small-scale coastal fisheries and aquaculture sector in Bangladesh, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Mozambique for a vibrant knowledge exchange during its inception workshop held October 9-12 in Penang, Malaysia.
Many coastal communities in the global South eke out a living from diverse but low-yielding small-scale fisheries and aquaculture. These livelihoods are jeopardized by overfishing, degradation of the marine ecosystems and impacts of climate change on oceanic waters. Affecting millions of vulnerable households, the aquatic foods sector has yet mostly been overlooked in development policies and investments because their social and economic contributions are undervalued or missing in national statistics. AABS seeks to address these challenges through four interconnected work packages, all underpinned by robust knowledge exchange across countries on their challenges and experiences to facilitate country-led and country-tailored adaptation of technologies.
Effective knowledge exchange between Asia and Africa will be the backbone of AABS to foster country-led adaptation and scaling of solutions tailored to the contexts and challenges faced by their respective communities. For example, change-making or nature-sensitive multispecies sea farming systems could scale more rapidly and effectively from one country to another with appropriate feedback loops and adaptation to local contexts—crucial for making a long-term impact.