Minister of Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah, has revealed that the Government of Ghana has earmarked three towns, namely Ekumfi Otuam, Osu, and Mfantseman for the construction of modern fish landing sites, bringing the total number of such projects along the coastal regions of Ghana to fourteen (14).
The other eleven (11) areas are Axim, Dixcove and Moree in the Western Region, Elmina, Senya Breku, Gomoa Fete, Winneba and Mumford in the Central Region, Jamestown and Teshie in the Greater Accra Region, and Keta in the Volta Region.
Speaking on the Eye on Port program, on the Overview of the Transport Sector, the Minister revealed that these projects are a manifestation of the vision of the President of Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to give the artisanal fishing industry a major facelift.
Kweku Ofori Asiamah said, “the fishing landing sites project is very key to the President. In the 90s, the then Ministry of Agriculture came out with a feasibility study that said the conditions of our fisher folk were not the best and for that matter we needed to improve. They came out with this fish landing sites idea.”
He continued, “when the construction started around 2007-2008, there wasn’t any dedicated funding for that project. They were building it from the Bank of Ghana budget so it stalled. Prof Mills when he took over, in 2009 a certain portion of the master facility agreement of China Development Bank was supposed to be used for the construction of the various landing sites along the coast. Procurement processes were done but unfortunately President Mills died. The next government for some reason did not prioritize that project.”
He disclosed that the current government, when it took office in 2017 had to evoke the revival of the expired arrangement with the China Development Bank (CDB) for the construction of these fish landing sites.
Mr. Asiamah however revealed that a funding facility has been secured from the Belgian Government to transform the fish landing site in Elmina to a fishing harbor so the initial CDB funding available for Elmina has been diverted for the construction of the additional landing sites.
Similarly, Jamestown is also being developed into a Fishing Harbor funded separately by a grant from the Chinese Government.
The Minister of Transport who has been sworn into office for a second term said all these projects are steadily ongoing and when completed, will provide employment and improve lives of Ghanaians, increase productivity of the fishing industry and increase the GDP of Ghana.
He encouraged Ghanaians to be circumspect in their judgements of such projects saying while some projects across the country may not demonstrate physical construction works yet, many significant processes are being undertaken to ensure that the outcomes of the projects reflect their original design and purpose.
The Hon. Kweku Ofori Asiamah said 3 out of 4 berths of the MPS Terminal 3 have been completed and are already operational, giving Ghana a major competitive advantage in international trade in terms of port facility.
“For the first time in the history of West Africa, we have what we call the panamax vessel dock in our port which is very significant.”
He revealed that the construction of the Atlantic Multipurpose Terminal at the Port of Takoradi is almost complete and expected to open between the middle and end of the year 2021.
The Minister also said the first tranche of funding has also been secured for the construction of the Boankra Inland Port.
He said, “not only will this project aid trade in the middle belt, but it would facilitate the creation of an industrial hub around the Boankra area.”