The Committee of Ambassadors of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), has met in extraordinary session to receive the Minister of Fisheries of Ghana, Mvi Hawa Koomson. The Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea in Brussels, Carmelo Nvono-Ncá, was present at this important meeting.
The meeting, which took place in the presence of the Secretary General of the ACP States, Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoty, was also attended by many other Heads of Diplomatic Missions in the Belgian capital. After the protocol sequences, Minister Mvi Hawa Koomson took the opportunity to address and interact with the Ambassadors and conveyed the official invitation from the Government of Ghana to attend the 7th Meeting of the OACPS Fisheries Ministers, to be held in Accra (Ghana) from April 5 to 8, 2022.
The Forum aims to highlight the role of artisanal fishing in the OACPS countries. It should be noted that the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture. This recognizes the important contribution of the millions of artisanal fishermen, fish farmers and all other workers in the fisheries sector in providing healthy and nutritious food to billions of people around the world.
In her presentation, the Minister of Fisheries of Ghana highlighted that artisanal fishing remains one of the oldest and most durable food production systems, serving as an important source of employment and ensuring affordable and nutritious protein for health and the well-being of our populations. She speaking more specifically of Ghana, she assured that, on average, a person can consume about 24 kg of fish per year, which exceeds the world average of 16 kg. This makes fish the main source of low-cost protein in Ghana, with artisanal fisheries contributing 70% to total national consumption.
In her dialogue with the Ambassadors, the Minister of Fisheries of Ghana reported that her Government has made 2022 the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture and stated that they are determined to continue working with partners, such as the United Nations for Agriculture and Food, to improve the standard of living of artisanal fishermen, as well as to address the problems that threaten the sustainability of the sub-sector.