President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod on Thursday 20 August 2020 for the start of construction work on the Elmina Fishing Port project.
The president said that when the fishing port project is completed, it will provide a big boost for fisheries in Elmina, the significance even greater because the industry is an important sector of the country’s economy.
With roughly 60% of the nation’s annual protein intake deriving from fishing, and with fishing employing 20% of the nation’s workforce, the president explained: “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 Western regional tour last year, the president symbolically cut the sod in Axim and Moree for construction of ten modern landing sites along the coast.
The other eight beneficiary towns are Elmina, Gomoa Fetteh, Mumford, Senya Beraku and Winneba in the Central Region, James Town and Teshie in the Greater Accra Region and Keta in the Volta Region.
Work is already progressing steadily at all the locations, with the sites at Axim, Dixcove, Gomoa Fetteh and Senya Beraku scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
The president explained that the Elmina Fishing Port rehabilitation project was originally planned to be financed by a loan from China Development Bank. However, he said, the government has secured separate funding from Belgium for 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 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.”
Boost for exports
The president assured the gathering that the government will continue to do more in terms of exports of processed fish and fish-related products to rake in extra revenue for Ghana, 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 is an enormous drain on national resources, and this port should not suffer the fate of other facilities with a poor maintenance culture,” the president said.
Click on the link to listen to President Akufo-Addo speak at Elmina.
Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio