The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has cut the sod for the construction of a mini-harbour and fish landing site in Axim, in the Western Region, in fulfilment of a pledge made to the people of the town in the run-up to the 2016 elections.According to President Akufo-Addo, “the pledge I made in 2016 was not an empty one, and it was not a lie. I knew I would fulfil it, and, by God’s grace, we are about to witness the start of the construction of this project, which will lift up the standards of living of the people of Axim”.
Already construction works for the Axim sea defence wall have begun, after President Akufo-Addo cut the sod for work to begin in 2018.
The President made this known on Wednesday, 24th July, 2019, when he addressed a durbar of Chiefs in Axim, and cut the sod for the commencement of the construction of the mini-harbour and landing site.
The construction of the project, which started in 2007, and was abandoned after the 2008 elections when the New Patriotic Party government of President John Agyekum Kufuor exited office, he said, is a commitment of his government towards the growth and development of the fishing industry.
With the project set to be executed by China Harbour and Engineering Company over a 30-month period, and will involve the construction of breakwater, a quay wall, dredging and ancillary facilities, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the project will be completed within the time frame.
The President noted that the sod-cutting ceremony is a symbolic one, marking the simultaneous start of the construction of other landing sites in Senya Beraku, Dixcove, Elmina, Moree, Mumford, Winneba, Gomoa Fetteh, Teshie and Keta.
“The promises I made to the Ghanaian people, one after another I am going to fulfil each and every one of them,” he assured.
The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, who was also present at the event, indicated that “the completion of the landing site will help increase the productivity of fishers by providing safe place for berthing of canoes and fish handling. It will ensure safety of fishing gears and properties, improve hygienic handling of fish and fishery products to meet international standards for export.”
In order to re-energise the aquaculture development programme, the Minister noted that adequate incentives have been provided to stimulate private sector investment, quality extension delivery and inputs support.
“In 2018, for instance, a total of about 1,671 aquaculture establishments were provided with extension service delivery, and as at June this year, a total of 1,370 establishments have benefitted from extension services,” she said.
With the Ministry currently piloting the Aquaculture for Food and Jobs flagship programme in the Ashanti Region, Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye noted that the implementation of the programme is expected to boost aquaculture production, and provide several direct and indirect jobs for the youth.
The Minister of State at the Office of the Senior Minister and MP for Evalue- Ajomoro-Gwira constituency, Hon. Catherine Abelema Afeku, on her part underscored how the mini fishing harbour is going to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth and also opens up the area for other economic opportunities.
She expressed her gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for all the projects he has directed to be put in the area in two and half years of his administration.
She used the opportunity to inform the President how his Fee-free SHS Policy has inspired 4,150 young people to register in the just ended limited voter’s registration exercise and vote for the first time in December 2020 for the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
That notwithstanding, Hon. Afeku introduced to the President and the general public a young man called Elijah from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who has defected to the NPP as a result of a sea defence wall being constructed in Axim at the instance of President Akufo-Addo.