President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday, 20 August 2020, cut the sod for the commencement of construction of the Elmina Fishing Port Project.
According to President Akufo-Addo, when the Elmina Fishing Port Project is completed, it will provide a big boost for the fishing industry in Elmina, especially as the fishing industry is an important sector of the country’s economy.
With about sixty per cent (60%) of the nation’s annual protein is derived from fishing, and with fishing employing about 20% of the nation’s workforce, the President explained that “this is one of the reasons why we made a decision to continually improve the infrastructure and conditions of the fishing industry to help improve our catch, cut down post-harvest losses and reduce fish imports in the medium to long term”.
It will be recalled that during his tour of the Western Region last year, at Axim and Moree, the President symbolically cut the sod for the construction of eleven (11) modern landing sites along the coast.
The other nine (9) beneficiary towns are Moree, Mumford, Winneba, Senya Beraku, Gomoa Fete and Elmina in the Central Region, Teshie and James Town in the Greater Accra Region, and Keta in the Volta Region.
Already, work is progressing steadily at all the locations, with the sites at Axim, Dixcove, Senya Beraku and Gomoa Fetteh scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
The President explained that the Elmina Fishing Port Rehabilitation Project was originally set to be financed by the CDB Loan from China, however, he stated that Government has secured separate funding from Belgium for the construction of a new fishing Port.
“In all, the Project will, first, see to upgrading existing facilities such as the administration building, the slipways, workshop, and the maintenance dredging of the existing Port. Secondly, the Project will also include the construction of a new fishing harbour, with a main breakwater and a quay wall to enable larger fishing vessels to safely moor and offload, a dedicated access road to the Port, and a warehouse for storage,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “Other new works include the construction of an additional administrative building; a shed for the fish market; a shed for fishing net mending; two (2) Cold Stores/ Ice factories; a new slipway for bigger vessels with a boat refurbishment area; a toilet block; and a daycare centre. The Project will also provide beach and coastal protection works, as well as restoration of the area in front of the Elmina Castle, to enhance tourism.”
The President assured the gathering that the government will continue to do more in terms of export of processed fish and fish-related products to rake extra revenue for our country, and will make deliberate efforts to make value-addition a priority, through policy interventions for companies.
“I urge the Ministries of Transport, Fisheries and Works and Housing, the contractors and consultants to work closely together to execute this project diligently, and ensure it is completed on time and on budget,” he said.
Once completed, President Akufo-Addo appealed to the traditional areas to help ensure that a prudent maintenance culture is adopted by management in the use of the fishing port.
“All of us must appreciate that the deterioration of infrastructure and other assets of state are an enormous drain on national resources, and this port should not suffer the fates of other facilities with a poor maintenance culture,” the President added.