The Akufo-Addo government is awaiting parliamentary approval to commence the construction of 10 coastal fishing harbours and landing sites in four regions.
The move follows a recent Cabinet approval to the commercial and financial agreement for the harbours and a recommendation for parliamentary consideration.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who briefed the media yesterday in Accra, said a total amount of $235 million has been earmarked for the projects which are to be situated in selected fishing communities.
According to the minister, the 10 identified sites where the landing sites and related facilities would be constructed are Teshie in the Greater Accra Region; Axim, Dixcove in the Western Region; Elmina, Mumford, Senya-Bereku, Fetteh-Gomah, Moree in the Central Region and Keta in the Volta Region.
Aside from the 10 sites, government is set to construct an additional one fishing harbour at Jamestown in Accra through a grant support from the Government of China.
Fulfillment of Manifesto Promises
The projects are part of the vision of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration aimed at transforming Ghana’s fishing industry significantly.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah explained that “the government’s vision to transform Ghana’s fishing industry is clearly stated in the NPP 2016 manifesto under Agriculture and Rural Development, on pages 18 and 19…It includes a key pillar that says ‘Top of the agenda for fisheries will be the programme of building landing sites and storage facilities’.”
According to the minister, “the development of the fish landing sites and ports is aimed at ensuring safe launching and landing of artisanal fishing and canoes in particular.”
He added that “it is also aimed at creating and maintaining a hygienic environment for the processing and handling of fish.”
He said the ports and landing sites would help in preventing and minimizing post harvest losses. Besides, the sites would help in adding value to the fish caught by artisanal fishermen.
The fisheries sector, said the minister, plays a major role in the Ghanaian national economy.
He revealed that it contributes about three per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Also, it has significant indirect contributions to the economy.
The minister added that “these include employment opportunities for marine fishermen, boat-yards workers, suppliers of auxiliary goods, services, etc. and exporting of fish products to earn foreign exchange for the country.”
He observed “it is estimated that up to 12% of total national fish product is exported. The completion of this project is expected to increase export volumes and directly increase the foreign exchange earnings of the country.”