Secretary General of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Dr. Paul Adalikwu, has commended the government of Sierra Leone for its many plans to develop the country’s maritime potential.
Adalikwu said this in Free Town during his maiden visit to the country where he met with the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Moinama Kallon; Minister of State, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mamadi Gobeh Kamara and heads of maritime agencies.
He expressed support for the country’s move to attract funding from African Development Bank (AfDB) to develop its port facilities.
He also pledged technical cooperation to assist the maritime administration build up a capacity to maximise the potentials of her Blue Economy and promote a sustainable marine environment through cleaning up of the coastline.
The MOWCA scribe also identified that a properly harnessed Sierra Leone marine environment will support the country’s job creation agenda for women and youth among other things.
Adalikwu, who applauded the country’s efforts to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing in its territorial waters with a declaration of a ban period for commercial fishing, said valuable marine resources in West and Central Africa deserve state protection.
He pointed out that the temporary stoppage of the fishing activities would, aside from protecting the environment from pollution and other illegalities, help in naturally replenishing stocks of marine resources.
He described the country’s ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 as a landmark state decision in promoting fair labour practices, decent work and living conditions for seafarers in the maritime industry.
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