Training and capacity building (T&CB) is at the forefront of the BCC’s agenda.
Between 2009 and 2013, the Icelandic development agency, ICEIDA, funded a dedicated T&CB programme that enabled a number of young scientists and technicians to participate in short courses aimed at improving skills in, for example, data management, time series analysis, population modelling and stock assessment and fish age determination.
Following the completion of the ICEIDA programme, the BCC has continued to prioritise T&CB, with the objective of improving the knowledge and skills of managers, scientists and technical staff from national institutions in Angola, Namibia and South Africa and contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the BCC. However, there has been an effort to broaden the scope of T&CB activities so as to the reflect the BCC’s multi-sectoral nature.
The BCC has pursued long-term strategic partnerships with institutions of learning in all the countries of the region. Draft Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) have been developed between the BCC and a number of institutions, including the Namibian Maritime and Fisheries Institute, the University of Namibia, the Angolan University of Agostinho Neto and the South African University of the Western Cape. The MoUs provide a foundation for the BCC to collaborate with institutions of learning, make full use of the resources that are available, avoid duplication of effort and optimise opportunities for students of the marine environment in the Benguela region.
A Regional Training Advisory Group, consisting of two representatives from each of the participating countries, provides strategic oversight of the BCC’s TCB activities, approves annual budgets and work plans and reviews training needs as they arise. The Regional Training Advisory Group also assists with the mobilisation of resources for targeted training initiatives.