Across much of Africa, freshwater and coastal fisheries provide an important source of food and livelihood for many millions of people. In addition, the aquaculture potential of the continent has only recently begun to be developed. To help sustain these capture fisheries, support the emergence of aquaculture and foster the contribution of both to sustainable livelihoods and improved food security, the WorldFish Center is increasing its investment in Africa. The framework for this investment is provided by a new Strategy for Africa and West Asia 2002-2006 that identifies priorities for the Center’s work in rivers and floodplains, lakes and reservoirs, coastal fisheries, aquaculture, policy research and capacity building. The present article summarizes the issues being addressed by the Center and describes initial research priorities.