The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) received a High-Level Mission (HLM) from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Ghana on the 19 February 2020 as part of efforts to work hand-in-hand with the Regional Fisheries Body (RFB) and the European Union Delegation to Ghana for a smooth and successful implementation of the PESCAO programme.
The Mission comprising Mr. Sékou Sangaré the Honorable Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources (AEWR); Dr. Amadou Tall, the Team Leader PESCAO/ECOWAS and Ms Urszula SOLKIEWICZ, Programme Officer, Regional Cooperation Section, European Union Delegation Abuja, Nigeria and Mr Serges Rinkel, Team Leader of SWAIMS Programme, met with Ghana’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development’s Executive Director, Michael Arthur-Dadzie, and later representatives of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization‘s Regional Bureau for Africa (FAORAF) and European Union Delegation in Ghana.
During a working session at the FCWC Headquarters in Tema, Ghana, FCWC Secretary-General Mr. Seraphin Dedi expressed his delight at having the honor of receiving the first visit of an ECOWAS Commissioner to Ghana since the establishment of the Committee. “We are really pleased to receive the HLM of ECOWAS in recognition of our efforts to strengthen regional cooperation and address common challenges for sustainable development of the fisheries industries in the region. The Mission is also welcome to guide us in the implementation of the PESCAO Programme funded through ECOWAS , especially for the setting up of the Regional Centre for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (RCMCS) equipped with a Vessel Monitoring System to combat illegal fishing and associated crimes, “ Mr. Dedi said.
In response, the Commissioner shared that the President of the Commission of the ECOWAS authorized him to conduct the HLM to the regional fisheries body primarily to confirm ECOWAS’ commitment to the Improved Regional Fisheries Governance in West Africa (PESCAO) programme, and also to evaluate progress made in the implementation of the activities and provide guidance for improved collaboration between the RFB and ECOWAS. The Commissioner thanked the Committee and its team for the work done so far with limited financial and technical resources, and directed the FCWC-PESCAO team to focus on the successful establishment of the RCMCS to serve as catalyst for further support to the Committee.
The mission ended with the signing of the FCWC Commitment Board to Combat IUU Fishing by all members of the ECOWAS HLM, illustrating the joint dedication of the partners and Members States to end illegal fishing and associated crimes in West Africa.