Financing fisheries in Africa: Financial services provision to small-scale fisheries

Small-scale fisheries (SSF) make an important contribution to nutrition, food security, rural livelihoods, and poverty alleviation. The importance of SSF is recognized by the United Nations, which declared 2022 the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). To develop small-scale fisheries in Africa in a sustainable manner, access to financial services is key. This brochure presents the main findings of a survey held among financial services providers (FSPs) in Africa about their supply of services to small-scale fishers and aquaculture producers. Forty-four FSPs providing loans and other banking services to agriculture entrepreneurs and others active in rural sectors in Africa responded to the survey in 2021. Key findings included that 64 percent of the FSPs that responded to the survey offer their services to small- and medium enterprises (SMEs) active in small-scale fisheries and aquaculture. However, for 70 percent of the FSPs the credit programmes available for fisheries and aquaculture entrepreneurs make up less than 10 percent of their portfolios. Thirty-five percent of FSPs have dedicated credit programmes for either fisheries or aquaculture sectors (or both). The financial performance of their credit services to the fisheries and aquaculture sectors was rated as “good” or “very good” in the years 2016-2019 by 31 percent to 52 percent of the FSPs.