The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has commissioned a $20 million expansion works on the Albert Bosomtwi-Sam Fishing Harbour at Sekondi in the Western Region.
The project is aimed at strengthening the capacity and functions of the Sekondi Fishing Harbour through improvement and expansion of harbour facilities to promote efficient coastal fishery operations.
The initial first phase of the Albert Bosomtwi Sam Fishing Harbour was constructed in 1998 through a Japanese Grant Cooperation at a total cost of $13.5 million.
But the facility outlived its capacity due to increased productivity which required urgent intervention to upgrade it.
The Japanese government therefore offered to support the 2nd phase expansion of the facility to include additional lay-by wharf, access driveway with canoe berthing facilities, expanded ice plant, additional administration office, pavement of the area behind fish handling shed, utility facilities, fuel oil tank sites and a soft or technical assistance component.
“The completion of this harbor is critical because the fishing industry is an important mainstay not only for many of the residents of Sekondi but also some 2 million Ghanaians across the country,” the President of the state stated.
Addressing the commissioning of the refurbished facility, President Akufo–Addo condemned activities of pirates and criminals who have created a sense of insecurity on the country’s waters.
He, however, charged some fishing companies who have halted their activities in the country due to the menace posed by pirates to resume since the state security apparatus has been marshaled to curb the threat of piracy.
“Ghana’s waters are recognized internationally as being very safe. We will not allow pirates or criminals to rob us of this hard won reputation and create a sense of insecurity on our waters. To the 14 tuna companies that are reported to have recently halted operations due to the menace posed by the pirates, I urge them to resume,” he admonished.
Speakers including the Western Region Minister, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Paul Asare Ansah, and Minister for Transport Kwaku Ofori Asiamah expressed optimism that the refurbished facility would improve fishing activities in the Western Region and subsequently promote the nation’s economy.
“The expanded harbor gives us the space and the needed facilities to receive as many as 126 in-shore vessels,” the Director General of GPHA, Paul Ansah said.
“This fishing harbor provides direct and indirect jobs to over 100,000 Ghanaians especially those living in Shama, Sekondi and *** fishing communities,” the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah also added.
The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Tsutomu Himeno, pledged the support of his government to help Ghana go beyond aid through skills empowerment.
“*This is an area* the Japanese people and government take seriously so whenever we do it, we do a high quality job. And I think this is yet another example of good quality work well done” he praised.
Minister for Fisheries Elizabeth Afoley Quaye said government will be constructing some landing beaches across the country all geared towards improving the fishing industry in the country.
“Apart from this fishing harbor, the James Town fishing harbor will be constructed this year, other landing sites would also be constructed,” she assured. The President of the republic charged GPHA to enhance and maintain the facility.