Francis Ato Cudjoe
DEPUTY Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Francis Ato Cudjoe has said the Elmina Fishing Port rehabilitation and expansion project is one of the vital projects to be undertaken by the Akufo-Addo government as Members of Parliament (MPs) approved funding to kick start the project.
An amount of €96,696,000 which is being sourced from the Cooperative Rabobank U.A. and Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Brussels Branch, was considered and unanimously approved by the House on Friday.
The funding approval has moved the “all important” fishing port project, proposed to improve local fishing industry to meet international standards, a step closer to a reality.
The project is a continuation of the facelift project of the Elmina short and medium term plan, and is in line with government’s ongoing programme to rehabilitate and construct Fishing Ports and Landing Sites along the coast.
Government said together with the upgrade of the existing port and the development of the new fishing port, a newly-developed waterfront will have a significant positive influence on tourism activities in Elmina, thus increasing both fishing and tourism, and additionally create jobs and to boost the local economy.
Elmina is the district capital of Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem (KEEA) in the Central Region.
The Finance Committee in its report said that due to its history, Elmina has several popular tourist attractions of which the Elmina Castle is best known. Aside tourism, the main economic activity of Elmina is fishing.
According to the committee, the Elmina Benya Lagoon Restoration Project has already benefited from a mixed credit financing from the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium and KBC Bank NV for an amount of €12,138,185.00 for the financing of immediate and medium term works.
The rehabilitation and expansion project involves the upgrading of facilities in the existing fishing port, including the administrative building, fish market, and workshop.
There will also be construction of a shed for fishing net mending, a toilet block, a daycare center, and a new fishing harbour, including a main breakwater with quay wall (East), a lee breakwater with quay wall (North), optimally utilizing the old main (head) breakwater and a basin area with target depth of -3 to -5 CD.
The Committee said it was informed that the facility shall be repaid by semiannual consecutive installments after a three-year moratorium period.
The Deputy Minister said when completed, the project would expand the port entrance to welcome larger vessels and canoes and generally provide new modern facilities of international standards for port operations.
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House