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Press focuses on warning that Ghana risks sanction over illegal fishing, others

The warning by the EU that Ghana risks sanctions as a non-cooperating country in the fight against illegal, unreported and…

The warning by the EU that Ghana risks sanctions as a non-cooperating country in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Graphic reports the European Union Commission has warned that Ghana risks sanctions “as a non-cooperating country in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing”.

The warning, delivered in the form of a yellow card in conformity with industry administrative measures, said the “decision is based on various shortcomings in Ghana’s ability to comply with its duties under international law as a flag, port, coastal or market state”.

A communication from the Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the EU Commission, Virginijus Sinkevičius, and released on the EU’s website said: “The Commission stands for zero tolerance for IUU fishing. Ghana plays an important role in fisheries governance in West Africa. Therefore, we stand ready to work with Ghana to address the threats IUU fishing poses to the sustainability of fish stocks, coastal communities, food security and the profits of those fishermen and women who follow the rules. Sustainable fisheries is key to better ocean governance”.

Although merely described as a warning, the action — based on the EU’s “IUU Regulation”, which came into force in 2010 — threatens Ghana’s fish trade on the EU market, the world’s biggest importer of fisheries products, and appears to have been triggered by reported cases of illegal fishing practices, particularly by big foreign vessels in Ghana’s waters.

“The yellow card is a warning, and offers Ghana the opportunity to react and take measures to rectify the situation within a reasonable time. At this stage, the decision does not entail any measures affecting trade.”

The newspaper says that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has congratulated the outgoing British High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. Iain Walker, on the successful completion of his duty tour of the country.

That was when the latter called on the minister to bid her farewell.

Mr. Walker was appointed British High Commissioner to Ghana in August 2017.

Prior to that, he had served as a Board Member of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London as its Director of Finance and Strategy.

Ms. Botchwey acknowledged that bilateral relations between Ghana and the United Kingdom (UK) witnessed active engagements and growth during the tenure of the High Commissioner, who she said discharged his duties creditably and with a high sense of purpose and tenacity.

The minister also commended the High Commissioner for his exemplary work, which resulted in a number of high-level UK official visits to Ghana, including the visit by the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, in November 2018 and the UK Minister for Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Mr. James Duddridge, in January 2021.

Other visits were by the UK Minister for the Armed Forces, Mr. James Heappey, in February 2021 and the UK Secretary of State for Home Department, Ms. Priti Patel, last week.

The Graphic also reports that the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has commenced a series of engagement with the youth across the country aimed at igniting an entrepreneurial spirit for accelerated job creation and financial independence for the nation’s youth.

The programme is part of efforts to share and urge the youth of Ghana to take advantage of opportunities in the GH¢100 billion Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) Obaatanpa programme.

The Ghana CARES programme has been designed to stimulate economic growth through increased investment in selected sectors, including agriculture, trade and industry, tourism, housing, science and technology and financial services.

Specific efforts will be made towards providing the youth with access to finance and skills in these areas to expand the production capacity in the selected areas.

Mr Ofori-Atta, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic in Tamale, said the ministry had consequently designed a framework for entrepreneurial-oriented agencies such as the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) and the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) (formerly NBSSI) to provide support for young entrepreneurs in the country.

He said the framework spelt out clear deliverables to expand opportunities available to young entrepreneurs over the next three years.

The Times says that the Minority in Parliament has accused the government of deliberately frustrating the work of Members of Parliament (MPs) and the growth and development of the country.

They stated that the President and his Cabinet had failed to present major bills to the House for consideration and constitution of boards of statutory bodies was a deliberate act to sabotage the growth of the country.

Ahmed Ibrahim, the First Deputy Minority Whip, alleged that the conduct of the President and his government was a clear indication of bad governance because before Parliament resumed from recess, the Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu indicated that they were bringing a number of bills for them to be passed.

“We came to parliament with the intention to pass bills, but we are in the third week and none of those bills is ready for parliament to work on and failure to present major bills to the House for consideration and constitution of boards of statutory bodies is a deliberate act to sabotage the development of the country.

Mr. Ibrahim, who is the MP for Banda in the Oti Region, quizzed where the bills were, what cabinet was doing and cabinet not approved them to come to the House for MPs to work on and cautioned that delayed constitution of statutory bodies would breed corruption in public institutions.

 “We are in the sixth month and the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government are reluctantly and unwilling to form the boards of Corporations, Agencies and Departments to bring checks and balances and without them, it will fundamentally cause corruption,” he decried.

But in a rebuttal, Sylvester Tetteh, MP for Bortianor-Ngleshie-Amanfro in the Greater Accra Region, debunked claims by Mr. Ibrahim that delay in the constitution of major boards would breed corruption and insisted that the President was in the process of forming his government.

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