Editorial: Bold steps needed to sanitize fisheries sectors

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The activities of illegal and unregulated fishing in the country has led to declines in the fisheries sector.

A worried Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Ghana Christopher J. Lamora has expressed concern about this situation and observed that illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is still rampant in Ghana’s coastal waters despite efforts to stem the tide.

Speaking at a virtual event to discuss lessons learnt after seven years of implementation of the USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) he wants stricter enforcement of regulations stressing that the unfortunate reality is that despite our best efforts over the past seven years, Ghana’s coastal fisheries sector is still in decline. Our research shows that the sardinella population has collapsed, and that the mackerel and anchovy populations are near collapse,” he noted.

“There are simply too many fishers and small vessels in the sector, too many industrial trawlers including many that hail from far beyond Ghana’s waters, and too few opportunities to move people away from fishing as a livelihood. All of this has created a situation where the livelihoods of 10 percent of Ghana’s population are in jeopardy and the protein intake of Ghana’s population may fall as a result,” Mr. Lamora added.

To stem this tide requires the continued commitment and mutual accountability from all partners – the Government of Ghana, international partners, fisherfolk, and local communities – to restore the health of the sector,”.

Mr. Lamora said there is the need to ensure that management decisions in the sector are informed by science and data to protect the vital contributions of coastal and marine ecosystems to provide nutrition and livelihoods.

We cannot but agree with his assertion and call for drastic action from all concern to protect the livelihoods of artisanal fisherfolk with the biological health of the fish species that make these economic opportunities possible.

It is important to take bold steps to hold accountable those actors who violate the laws and regulations that are designed to protect marine fisheries from collapse and safeguard the interests of the Ghanaian people.

Editorial: A timely intervention is needed

COVID-19 pandemic has wrecked the world economy. The pandemic which enters its second year has led to huge funding needs. Lower growth and higher deficits mean public debt in developing nations swelled to more than 60% of gross domestic product last year, rising by double-digit percentage points from 2019 in Latin America, the Caribbean and South Asia, Eurodad estimates.

A route to cope with the debt load has been created. Last year, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank launched the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and its accompanying Common Framework to help the poorest nations survive the pandemic. The Common Framework effectively requires a country to try to restructure its private debt. That would trigger a default in the eyes of credit-ratings agencies, a situation investor wouldn’t want to be dragged into.

Given the rising cost of debt on the continent, there is the need for governments to adopt an all hands-on-deck approach which will explore all options such as the debt suspension programmes and other initiatives to tackle the situation, the 2021 Africa’s Pulse report has said.

The World Bank report urges governments on the continent to strengthen collaborations with the international community to address liquidity and sustainability issues especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to unsustainable debt in several Sub-Saharan African countries.

To bring about immediate relief, the World Bank says governments eligible for the Debt Service Sustainability Initiative (DSSI) and Common Framework for Treatments beyond the DSSI, should take advantage of them, as these two policies specifically address debt standstills and relief in response to the COVID-19 shock.

The DSSI framework suspends debt service payments to bilateral official creditors for eligible countries during a certain period. According to the World Bank, the DSSI-eligible countries in Sub-Saharan Africa would save up to US$ 5.1 billion during the period of May-December 2020 and US$4 billion during the period of January-June 2021.

Commenting further on why it is necessary for government to consider the move even though it is of short term in nature, Financial Advisory Leader, Deloitte Ghana, Yaw Appiah Lartey, said it would free up some revenue for government to undertake important projects and provide avenue for macroeconomic strictures to be improved.

“If Ghana fails to take advantage of the DSSI, the country could lose the opportunity to get some liquidity in the short term to support social, health and economic spending required to support the proposed economic recovery. This could potentially lengthen the expected recovery period post-COVID-19.

We call on government to open up the discussion on this all important matter and take a decision quickly to ensure that the economy does not grind to a halt.

Editorial: Kudos AGA

News that the  Obuasi Mine has among others  provided motorcycles for Improvement Supervisory Officers (SISO) and others of the Ghana Education Service to do their work over the period is very encouraging.

To this end educational authorities in the Obuasi East and Obuasi Municipalities have reiterated their commitment to ensuring that basic schools achieve a 90 per cent pass rate in the basic school exams by the end of the year, working in partnership with AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine

The Obuasi Municipal Director of Education, Mrs. Regina Teni Musa Mumuni, speaking at the end of a two-day ‘School Improvement Supervisory Workshop’ for some selected educational authorities in Obuasi noted that the platform provided has brought significant improvement in their work. observed that the efforts made by Obuasi Mine, over the last three years, to ensure effective teaching and learning are already yielding some positive outcomes

We salute and encourage the Mine not to relent on its oars and urge others to emulate this example to help improve educational standards in areas that they operate in.

SOURCEthebftonline.com
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