The African Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS AC) was established in 2018. Through its commitment to excellence in science, technology, education, and information exchange, the WAS AC will contribute to the progressive and sustainable development of aquaculture in Africa.

WAS AC is led and managed by a Board of Directors who are elected from the Chapter’s membership in Africa, every two years. These are renowned professionals who have occupied strategic leadership roles in aquaculture disciplines within their countries or regions.



Dr. John Kilemerwa Walakira

Director of Research: Abi ZARDI-National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), UGANDA


John first joined WAS in 2003 and has attended numerous WAS and partner events around the world ever since. He was elected the first President-Elect for the WAS-AC in 2019 and has been instrumental in the establishment processes of the WAS AC from onset. Through various R&D activities, John has contributed immensely to the development of aquaculture in Uganda and East Africa region since 1999. He is presently a committee member on aquatic animal health management within the African Union; a member of the Scientific Committee for Lake Victoria Basin (2017 – 2020); Program Leader: Innovation and Post-Harvest Fisheries; and various other research initiatives and leadership roles within the NARO, Uganda. John has attained some awards and accolades including the African Bioscience Challenge Fund Fellowship; 1st Winner of the SARNISSA-ASAKUA Fish Health Competition; and Fish Innovation Lab-USAID fellowship and grants. As WAS AC President, John has pledged to lead the organisation on many of its upcoming events and activities in line with its commitment to be a continental player in providing the necessary societal support for sustainable aquaculture development.


Phone: +256777673696




Dr. Sherif Sadek

Creator and General Manager: Aquaculture Consultant Office (ACO), EGYPT


Sherif has been the President of the WAS-AC since its establishment in 2019. In addition to be at the helm of the organisation since its formation phase, Sherif co-ordinated the organisation and hosting of the 1st Aquaculture Africa Conference (AFRAQ21), in Egypt (March 2022), on behalf of the WAS, where he was the Conference Co-Chairperson. This was his monumental achievement. He has been the Vice-Chairperson of the Egyptian Aquaculture Society (EgAS) - one of the largest national aquaculture societies in Africa, and an Affiliate Member to the WAS; the Vice-Chairperson of West Port-Said Aquaculture Cooperative (WestPAC); partner and General Manager of the Egyptian-Franco Mariculture company (Egymarine co.) based at Manzala Lake, Egypt. Sherif obtained a grant to do research on crustacean aquaculture at Auburn University, USA (1986-87). In 1998, he successfully conducted research on freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) culture> Sherif holds a PhD (Docteur de l'INP) from the Institut National Polytechnique (INP), Toulouse France and has published around 40 scientific papers in various international journals on aquaculture. He has been consulted to co-ordinate a number of FAO projects in the North Africa region.


Phone: +201223492423




Ms. Foluke Areola

Director (Rtd), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, NIGERIA.


Foluke first joined WAS in 2008 and has been an advocator for the establishment of WAS AC ever since. Foluke has occupied a number of leadership roles in fisheries and aquaculture in Nigeria. She is a Fellow and the First Female National President Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON); Facilitator of the Agriculture and Food Security of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (2006-2016); Member - pioneer steering committee- NEPAD/ International Partnership for African Fisheries – PAF (2009 -2014); and Secretary: Board of the Interpol Fisheries Crime Working Group (2013-2015). She has been the first Federal Director of Fisheries Quarantine in Nigeria; first female Acting Federal Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Rtd). Foluke is currently a Consultant and regular speaker on fisheries and aquaculture. She holds a BSc. (Hons) Zoology (1977); MSc. Zoology (1980); PGD Fisheries

Management (Temperate & Tropical) (1984). Her multidisciplinary leadership capabilities is expected to be valuable to the WAS AC.


Phone: +2348091256444




Prof. Adeosun Festus Idowu

Professor: Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) Ogun State, NIGERIA.


A Professor at FUNAAB, Adeosun is also the Director: Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies and also Deputy Director: Institute for Human Resources Development at FUNAAB. He is also a long serving member of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), including its Editorial Board. Adeosun has published a number of journals, articles and technical reports on fisheries and aquaculture and has been an ardent supporter of the formation of the WAS AC. Since 2019, Adeosun has been instrumental in various pioneer programmes within the WAS AC West Africa regional office, notably the planning and delivery of Webinars and partnership development initiatives. Adeosun holds a BSc in Fisheries and Wildlife Management (1997); MSc in Fisheries Management (1999); PhD in Fisheries Biology and Management (2007) amongst a range of other academic and professional qualifications.


Phone: +234-8038057564

E-mail:  &



Dr. Bernice Mclean

Acting Head: Industrialisation Division and Blue Economy, Africa Union Development Agecy (AUDA-NEPAD), SOUTH AFRICA.


WAS member since 2017, and through the AUDA-NEPAD - an ardent actor in the formation and operationalisation of the WAS AC since its launch in 2018. Bernice was elected to be the first Treasurer for the Chapter in 2019, and has been re-elected for another term 2021-2023. She has been instrumental in all engagements and formalities for interfacing WAS AC to the AU, leading to AUDA-NEPAD officially hosting the Chapter at its headquarters in South Africa from 2020. She also led the process of formally registering the Chapter as a legal entity in South Africa (2022). Being the Chapter’s interface to the AU agencies and its divisions, Bernice aspires that WAS AC and the aquaculture sector-at-large’s initiatives are aligned with the aspirations of the continent’s vision as expressed through the continental policy frameworks, including the AU’s Ten Years Aquaculture Action Plan for Africa 2016-2025. Professionally, Bernice has over 17 years of experience in managing marine, coastal and environmental consulting projects in the private sector.


Phone: +27828586513




Dr. Nevine Mahmoud Abou Shabana

Associate Professor of Fish Reproduction, Aquaculture Division. National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF), Alexandria, EGYPT


Nevine joined WAS in 2013 and has been working at NIOF, Egypt since 1994. She was assigned as Head of Alexandria Aquarium from 2009 to 2014. She also led the multi-organism bioassay unit at the NIOF, for the testing of marine dispersants for several petroleum companies. She supervises a number of students of their MSc and PhD thesis. In 2012, Nevine was assigned by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research as Research Innovation & Development Focal point (an EU funded program). Nevine holds a BSc in Zoology (1988,), MSc (1998) and PhD (2004). She implemented several research projects funded by EU and USAID dealing with Integrated Polyculture Systems (sea breams, mullets, shrimps, bivalves and algae), marine fish farming, aquaponic systems and environmental impacts on aquatic animals. Nevine was elected 1st Director of North Africa Region for the WAS-AC in 2019 and has been in the Organising Committee for the 1st Aquaculture Africa Conference (AFRAQ21), Egypt (March 2022).


Phone: +201002666870

Email: and



Mr. Olanrewaju Badmus

Rtd Head: Department of Fisheries & Aquaculture - Federal College of Animal Health & Production Technology; National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau-State; CEO: AqualGlobal Solution Inter Limited, NIGERIA.


Being a WAS member since 2009 and a former Vice President of Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), Olanrewaju has been one of the leading pioneers of aquaculture development in Nigeria and West Africa. A founder, pioneer lecturer and 1st Head of the Department of Fisheries at the Federal College of Animal Health & Technology, National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom. Plateau- State, Nigeria (2012). Lanre has also been the Vice Chairman of the Plateau State Fish Farmer Cooperative Society (2006). Lanre was elected 1st Regional Director for the WAS-AC in 2019 and has been instrumental in organising aquaculture actors in the West Africa region to the platform. This led to the successful hosting of the 1st Hybrid Conference on Aquaculture in West Africa (Ghana, 2021). He co-ordinated several technical webinars on aquaculture that preceded the Conference. Lanre is looking forward to co-ordinate the hosting of the 2nd Regional Conference on Aquaculture in West Africa (Nigeria, 2022) and many other WAS related activities in West Africa region during his term.


Phone: +2348036362827




Dr. Ajangale Nelly Isyagi

Fisheries Trade and Investment Consultant, AU-IBAR, UGANDA.


Nelly is one of the longest serving members of the WAS in Africa, having joined the organisation in 1999. She has been active in the development and management of aquaculture in Uganda taking up roles from farm manager, entrepreneur, researcher to aquatic animal health practitioner providing technical services to aquaculture producers and related aquaculture enterprises in Uganda and East Africa for several years. In 2015, Nelly was appointed the Aquaculture Officer at AU-IBAR for a period of three years, where she was instrumental in the development of the African Union Continental Aquaculture Action Plan and the associated technical guidelines for its implementation. She additionally serves in national and international committees on setting fish safety and aquatic animal health standards. She is also currently the Director-at-Large (Africa and Middle East) for the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA). Nelly holds Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (1993), MSc. Aquaculture (1996), PhD. Aquaculture (2007). As the 1st Regional Director for WAS in East Africa, Nelly co-ordinated the organisation of the 1st Regional Conference on Aquaculture in East Africa (virtual) in 2020 and is expected to co-ordinate the 2nd Regional Conference later in 2022. With support from AU-IBAR, Nelly was instrumental in the formation of the WAS-AC since its launch in 2017.


Phone: +254791497161




Dr. Francisca Alberta Lourenço Pires Delgado

Coordinator: Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO (Angola) and Vice President: Women in Maritime Organisation Africa (WIMAFRICA); ANGOLA


WAS member since 2017 and first WAS Regional Director for Central Africa, a position she has now been re-elected for another term until 2024. Francisca being a renowned researcher in Angola, is currently serving and co-ordinating in various intergovernmental local bodies including intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO under Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries- ANGOLA- (2011-2021) and Vice-President of Women in Maritime Organization – WIMAFRICA (2018-2023). Francisca has more than 36 years working in fisheries and aquaculture and is fluent in English, Portuguese and moderate in French. She is also a Consultant and regular speaker on Fisheries, Aquaculture, Blue Economy and related professions. She holds a BSc (Hons)

Biology (1987), MSc on Marine Resources, Ocean Science and Coastal Zones (2011). Francisca’s leadership capabilities, her proficiency in key African languages are expected to be valuable to the Chapter.


Phone: +244939569682




Dr. Khalid Salie

Head: Aquaculture Unit, Department of Animal Sciences, Stellenbosch University, SOUTH AFRICA.


Long serving WAS member, since 1999 and presently on Ad Hoc Committee member for WAS-AC. Khalid was active in the formation of WAS AC from onset and for its direction. He is the Past-chairperson of Hands-On Fish Farmers’ Cooperative Limited and served on WAS Promotion and Affiliation Committee. He is currently an Executive Member of the Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa (AASA). He received AquaFish Innovation Lab Certificate of Recognition for contributing to creating sustainable aquaculture systems. An active and renowned aquaculture researcher in South Africa, research areas include Ecological Aquaculture, Integrated Aquaculture Farming Systems and Sustainable Aquaculture Development. Khalid has co-ordinated several service level agreements with numerous organisations and presented aquaculture outreach initiatives at secondary and tertiary levels. Khalid holds BSc Botany & Zoology (1993), BSc (Hons) Riparian Ecology,

(1994); MSc Riparian Ecology (2003); PhD Socio-ecological Aquaculture (2014).


Phone: +27824126120




Dr. Kevan L. Main

Associate Vice President of Research, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida, USA


Joined WAS in 1985 at the beginning of her career in Aquaculture. Dr. Main has directed Aquaculture Research at Mote Marine Laboratory since 2001. She has worked on the development of sustainable aquaculture technology for over 30 years. Throughout her career, she has served on numerous committees and panels to identify priorities and challenges to advance global aquaculture. Beginning in 2014, Dr. Main and Mr. Roger Krohn (South Africa) co-chaired the Steering Committee for the World Aquaculture 2017 International Conference that took place in Cape Town, South Africa – this was the 1st WAS conference held in Africa. At the Steering Committee meeting in 2014, there was a meeting to plan the formation of an African Chapter of WAS and Dr. Main was appointed the Adhoc chairperson to advise on various matters for the formation and operationalisation of the chapter - a position she still holds to this day. Dr. Main served as President of the World Aquaculture Society in 2012-2013 and was recognized in 2016 by President Obama as a Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood.


Phone: +1-941-388-4541 ext. 127




Mr Blessing Mapfumo

Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisor, ZIMBABWE


With over 20 years’ experience in fisheries and aquaculture, Blessing was appointed the 1st Executive Officer for the WAS AC Secretariat in 2019, overseeing the Chapter’s formation, administrative, communications and operational functions. Prior to joining the WAS Secretariat, Blessing was an FAO consultant for several projects mostly in Southern Africa on fish trade and aquaculture. He was a short-term expert for a number of projects by the EU, AU, World Bank and others – spanning in over 25 African countries. From 2006 to 2011, Blessing worked for INFOSA (the Inter-governmental Organisation for Marketing Information and Technical Advisory Services for the Fishing Industry in Southern Africa), based in Namibia. His first career (2000-2006) was with Lake Harvest Aquaculture Ltd, Zimbabwe - one of the leading freshwater aquaculture ventures in Africa (as Production Administrator). Blessing has been the Communications and Liaison person for the 1st Aquaculture Africa Conference (AFRAQ21), Egypt, March 2022. The WAS AC Secretariat office is based at the AUDA-NEPAD, Midrand, South Africa.


Phone: +263778415685 or +27766318729

Email:  or





Dr. Harrison Charo-Karisa

Senior Fisheries Specialist for fisheries and aquaculture: World Bank Group, Washington DC, USA


Harrison has worked with several organizations in support of aquaculture and fisheries development as a scientist, manager, and trainer. He was elected 1st Secretary of the African Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society in 2019 and immediate former WorldFish Country Director for Egypt and Nigeria. As Director of Fisheries Resources Development and Marketing at the State Department of Fisheries and the Blue Economy, he contributed to Kenya’s strong participation in national, regional and global Blue Economy. Harrison is currently engaged in strengthening livelihoods and food and nutrition security through offering solutions to technical, environmental, and social challenges affecting fisheries and aquaculture. He holds a PhD in Animal Sciences (Fish Breeding, Genetics and Aquaculture) from Wageningen University of Life Sciences, in the Netherlands and an MSc in Biodiversity from Swedish Agricultural University, Sweden. Regarding his vision for WAS, Harrison would like to see a society which brings together all the different aquaculture actors including farmers, hatcheries, feed producers, traders, academia, researchers, and policy makers. The World Bank supports the development of vibrant aquaculture sector which is economically and environmentally sustainable by providing funds and expertise to its clients, who are government and private sector.


Phone: +1 2029678998




Dr. Alexander Shula Kefi

Director of Fisheries: Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, ZAMBIA


Alexander joined the WAS in 2019, the same year he was elected to become the 1st WAS Regional Director, overseeing the Southern Africa Region. He has recently been appointed Director of Fisheries in Zambia and also the Project Manager for the Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development (ZAEDP) Project, a US$50.89 million funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Zambia government. He is also Focal Point Person for the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), Zambia Compact funded by AfDB. Prior to that (between 2014-2017), Alexander co-ordinated the implementation of a number of multinational, donor funded projects on fisheries and aquaculture. He has authored several peer-reviewed journal papers and supervised several students at PhD, MSc and BSc levels. He holds a PhD in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science from the University of Malawi and specialises in fish nutrition, biotechnology and fish breeding. His vision for WAS is an institution which should continue to inspire and catalyse the development of Aquaculture in the world through the provision of the credible and tested information on technologies for aquaculture. His time at WAS AC as Regional Director for Southern Africa targeted mainly on the recruitment of the members, with the belief that WAS is an information hub that can support the development of aquaculture continentally. The WAS AC intends to organise its 2nd Aquaculture Africa Conference in Zambia in 2023. Alexander has pledged to coordinate the hosting of this event if given the opportunity by WAS and Zambia government.


Phone: +260979255620