WALVIS BAY – The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, says African countries must take stricter measures to fight the exploitation of their natural resources so that they can benefit people on a larger scale.
Kenyatta made the remarks during the visit to the Seaflower pelagic processing factory, the biggest fish-freezing factory in Sub-Saharan Africa that is yet to be officially opened, during his one-day visit to Walvis Bay on Saturday. He pointed out that many African countries including Kenya do not really benefit from their natural resources, especially marine resources. The onshore processing plant was constructed at the old Etale canning factory which Fishcor bought for N$160 million. Their partner, Africa Selection Fishing Namibia, injected a further N$370 million for the completion of the factory.
Although he was impressed with the factory, a concerned Kenyatta said that unregulated and illegal fishing is one of the challenges that Africa faces that threatens the continent’s marine resources.
“It is disappointing to see that foreign nations are benefiting more from the abundant fish in the territorial waters of many African countries. Hence we should work together and learn from the examples of countries like Namibia, which has implemented progressive measures to develop its fisheries sector,” Kenyatta noted.
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau, who received Kenyatta at the factory, said Namibia is working hard not to export jobs by making sure that Namibian fish leaves the country with value added.
“We want to address food security and also create business opportunities for our locals, as the industry must create much needed jobs,” he said. Esau added that Namibia is keen on collaborating with Kenya to address illegal, unregulated fishing as well as marine pollution. He added that illegal fishing in Namibia puts the country’s responsibly managed fish stocks and its economic benefits at risk.
According to Esau, Namibia will collaborate with neighbouring countries to further assist in the control and barring entry to vessels that are conducting illegal and unregulated fishing in ports.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-03-25 09:06:50 6 months ago