Egypt has a well-established aquaculture industry that has the potential to have a greater impact on the country’s persistently high unemployment and endemic poverty rates through greater efficiencies and productivity. Aquaculture in Egypt now provides more than 100,000 full or part‐time jobs along the value chain and supports the livelihoods of up to one million people.

This three-year project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and led by CARE, aims to increase youth employment in areas of Egypt badly hurt by the down-turn in tourism. WorldFish will deliver the fisheries and aquaculture components of the project including support for the development of aquaculture, value addition for fisheries products and improved fisheries management in Lake Nasser.

Approximately 26% of Egyptians are resource-poor and suffer from a series of nutritional challenges, including high rates of childhood stunting, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The Sustainable Transformation of Egypt’s Aquaculture Market System (STREAMS) project aims to increase production of inexpensive, nutritious and safe fish from sustainable aquaculture systems to help improve the health and nutrition of Egypt’s resource-poor while creating employment and increasing incomes along the aquaculture value chain.

This project aims to use selective breeding to make improved fish strains, which are faster growing and more productive than other local strains, more accessible to poor people. The project focuses on Bangladesh, Egypt, Kenya and Mozambique, where small-scale aquaculture is important for rural livelihoods and fish is an important source of protein and nutrition.

Since the 1980s, aquaculture production in Egypt has grown rapidly, adding substantially to the supply of affordable fish to domestic markets. As a result, aquaculture markets have become a strategic food sector that contributes to nutrition security and sustains substantial employment opportunities for informal retailers, many of whom are women. However, the informal nature of fish retailing can result in different forms of insecurity relating to insufficient lending arrangements, risk of postharvest losses and poor returns, and threat of harassment or arrest.

Although about 43% of the African continent is considered arid and water-poor, it supports the livelihoods of nearly 485 million people. This part of the continent is largely ignored as having potential for aquaculture development, but it has underground water sources (including brackish water aquifers), dams, seasonal ponds and pools from abandoned open-cast mines that all could be used for aquaculture.