The USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP), a US Government funded food security project which seeks to rebuild Ghana’s marine fish stock has signed a partnership agreement with the Fisheries Commission and Mobile Network Operator, Tigo.
The ‘Tigo Fishers Network’ is an initiative facilitated by the USAID fisheries project in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission and Tigo to provide fisherfolk with tailored mobile solutions using the Tigo platform. The Network will provide fishermen, fish processors and fish farmers with the tools to increase access to information about good fisheries practices, facilitate cost effective communications among fisherfolk, and promote household savings and use of mobile money for their business transactions.
The Fisheries Commission will also support the Network by using the mobile platform to educate fishing communities to enable fisherfolk to anonymously report illegal fishing and encourage best practices for sustainable fishing. The partnership intends to scale-up these services coast-wide and in fishing communities along the Volta Lake after a pilot phase of implementation starting this year.
Speaking at the partnership signing event, the Chief Business Officer for Tigo, Stephen Essien, said the partnership was in line with Tigo’s vision of enabling a digital lifestyle to improve lives and business efficiency through connectivity.
He added that Tigo values the partnership with the Fisheries Commission and USAID fisheries project as it will enhance stakeholder collaboration and engagement, information sharing and dissemination.
“Tigo is looking forward to a successful partnership where fisher folk, including fishermen and other actors in the value chain can receive information on their mobile phones, and hopefully improve their business models, revenues and efficiency,” he said.
The Director of the Fisheries Commission (FC), Samuel Quaatey was excited the ‘Tigo Fishers Network’ has seen the light of day. He recounted the benefits fisherfolk will receive from the partnership and how it will support government extension efforts in fisheries.
Also, speaking on behalf of USAID SFMP, the Senior Private Sector Partnership Specialist, Nii Tackie-Otoo, expressed the project’s commitment to support this private-public partnership with the Fisheries Commission and Tigo Ghana to ‘improve the livelihoods of fisherfolk, increase food security and reduce poverty at least within the fisheries sector’.