About IOCAFRICA

© UNESCO; UNESCO Nairobi office for IOCAFRICA

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Sub-Commission for Africa and Adjacent Island States (IOCAFRICA) is an intergovernmental subsidiary body of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO was established as a framework to improve the Commission's visibility, facilitate coordination among the Member States in the region, and to ensure the efficient implementation of IOC programmes in Africa.

Mission

The Sub-Commission is responsible for the promotion of regional and international cooperation for the understating and management of the African oceans and coastal ecosystem, in order to ensure sustainable development and safety of the coastal populations, taking into account the priorities of Member States from Africa.

The Sub Commission aims to be the voice of Africa on matters related to ocean science and the science base for ocean management, providing a unique Africa-wide platform, bringing together Member States, UN agencies and other stakeholders, to drive research, observations, and disaster preparedness and mitigation for the sustainable management of the African oceans and coastal areas.

It will strengthen IOC's presence in Africa, increase the effectiveness of its actions, and give concrete effect to the priority accorded to Africa by UNESCO.

 

History

2nd session of the IOC-INCWIO in Arusha Tanzania in 1987

© UNESCO
Group photo of the participants of the 2nd session of the IOC-INCWIO

The Sub-Commission for Africa and Adjacent Island States (IOCAFRICA) was established at the 26th Session of the Assembly of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (22 June – 5 July 2011, UNESCO HQs, Paris, France).

The Sub Commission has held two sessions:

  • First session of the Sub-Commission for Africa and Adjacent Island States (IOCAFRICA-I), 2-3 May 2012, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Second session of the Sub-Commission for Africa and Adjacent Island States (IOCAFRICA-II), 3-4 April 2013, Cape Town, South Africa.

Prior to the establishment of IOCAFRICA, the implementation of activities of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO in Africa were coordinated through two Regional Committees created for this purpose:      

  • IOC’s Regional Committee for the Central and Eastern Atlantic (IOCEA), was established in 1984 by the Executive Council at its Seventeenth Session through Resolution EC-XVII.7. The IOC Project Office for IOCEA operated from NIOMR, Lagos, Nigeria, from 2002 to 2004.
  • IOC’s Regional Committee for the Western Indian Ocean (IOCWIO), was established in 1979 by the Assembly at its Eleventh Session through Resolution XI-9 as the IOC’s Regional Committee for the Cooperative Investigations in the North and Central Western Indian Ocean (IOCINCWIO). The name was later changed at the request of IOCINWIO-V. The IOC Project Office for IOCWIO established at Kenyan Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Mombasa, Kenya from 2000 to 2004; was moved to the UNESCO Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya, from 2004 to 2009).

The Regional Committees coordinated and facilitated the development and implementation of IOC activities in their respective regions. Through them, IOC has been an active participant in the implementation of programmes in the region, contributing to the development of scientific and technical capabilities, the strengthening of institutions, the installation and deployment of observing systems (e.g. sea level monitoring stations installed in Africa’s coastal and island states), and the development of programmes and structures for addressing the regions priorities. The closure of the two project offices in 2004 (Lagos, Nigeria) and 2009 (Nairobi, Kenya) limited the ability of the Commission to link with national institutions and regional organizations/programmes, thus impacting negatively on the implementation of IOC activities in the region.

The two Regional Committees (IOCEA and IOCWIO) were dissolved during the first session of IOCAFRICA.

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