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Pan-African newsletter on small scale fisheries

Masifundise's mission is to facilitate mobilisation and organisation of fishing communities at the grass roots level, in order for communities to become empowered and capable of taking part in political and economic decision making processes. This will facilitate good governance at Municipality level and enable fishing communities to secure their social, economic, and political rights.

 

To strengthen international communication of african fisher people and their organisations Masifundi is publishing the Pan-African Newsletter, starting with its first edition in oktober 2013.

 

Production

The development of the newsletter went very well, with a wide range of articles being included around the central theme of “Ocean grabbing”. Three partner organisations (from The Gambia, Uganda and Seychelles) submitted written articles and much of the rest of the content generated by Masifundise was based on inputs and discussions with other partner organisations from around the continent. The graphics used in the newsletter were chosen to reflect the continent as a whole, rather than just a single region. Images, cartoons, and popular language were used to ensure that the content is accessible to all readers, regardless of educational background (see Annex 1 and 2 for photos and cartoon). The content was translated into French and checked over by an academic familiar to fisheries to ensure that fishing-related terms were translated correctly. The newsletter was printed in colour, 10,000 copies each in English and French.

 

Distribution

Electronic copies of the newsletter were distributed to 84 fisher organisations in 27 countries across the continent. Many of these organisations forwarded the newsletter onto some of their own contacts (copying us in). Copies, both French and English were also distributed electronically to 838 individuals, including academics, policy-makers, NGO workers, government officials and donor agencies.

 

Close to 2,500 hard copies, both English and French, have already been distributed to partner organisations across the continent. The balance will be distributed as we track down addresses and identify opportunities for mass distribution (regional conferences for example).

 

We have had very positive feedback from numerous recipients of the newsletter, including NGO workers, government officials, academics, donor agencies and, most importantly, partner organisations. It has already proven useful in stimulating dialogue amongst partner organisations where stories of “ocean grabbing” (or “lake grabbing” in some instances) are starting to emerge. Many partners have requested as many hard copies as we can send, highlighting in their motivation just how important these issues are in both a national and regional context.