Fishermen endorse Hawa Koomson as Minister-designate for Fisheries

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The Ghana National Fishermen Council (GNFC) has backed the nomination of Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson following the media uproar which greeted her recent vetting in Parliament.

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According to the association, the hullabaloo that was generated on traditional and social media following her appearance before Parliament’s ministerial vetting committee was unnecessary and a distraction from pertinent issues that had arisen during the exercise.

A media statement released on February 23, 2021, by the association, reads in part: “As fishermen, our key concern and expectation is how the Minister-designate intends to tackle niggling issues like Seiko, light fishing, the influx of foreign fishing vessels and the need for a foreign vessel to conduct scientific research among others.”

The statement further reads: “We share the sentiments of several well-meaning Ghanaians who have since the fallout of the vetting exercise, opined that the mastery of English language is not necessarily a sign of competence. The Honourable Minister-designate will definitely work with technocrats and industry players who equally have the progress of the sector at heart. Accordingly, we encourage the media to set the agenda for a liberal conversation on how promises elucidated in the manifesto of the current government will be executed vis-a-vis the content of the vetting exercise.”

It will be recalled that on 18th February 2021, the Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson took her turn at the parliamentary ministerial vetting committee. Following the exercise, the media space became awash with commentary on her perceived lack of proficiency in the use of the English language.

Below is the statement

MEDIA UPROAR FOLLOWING VETTING OF MINISTER DESIGNATE FOR FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT, HON. MAVIS HAWA KOOMSON UNNECESSARY AND A MISPLACEMENT OF PRIORITY.

We have taken notice of the media uproar which has greeted the recent vetting of the Minister-Designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson and wish to lend our voice as a primary stakeholder in the industry.

Following the vetting of the Minister-Designate, Traditional and Social Media have been awash with commentaries that have largely dwelt on the subject of “English Proficiency”. It is worth stating that the banal focus on English proficiency is misplaced and diverts attention from pertinent issues that arose from the exercise.

As fishermen, our key concern and expectation is how the Minister-Designate intends to tackle niggling issues like Seiko, Light Fishing, the influx of foreign fishing vessels and the need for a foreign vessel to conduct scientific research among others. Thankfully, these and many more were addressed by her.

We share the sentiments of several well-meaning Ghanaians who have since the fallout of the vetting exercise opined that the mastery of the English language is not necessarily a sign of competence. The Hon minister-designate will definitely be working with technocrats and industry players who equally have the progress of the sector at heart.

Accordingly, we encourage the media to set the agenda for a liberal conversation on how promises elucidated in the manifesto of the current government will be executed vis-à-vis the content of the vetting exercise.

In conclusion, we believe that the President, His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who chose the effective outgoing Minister, Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye has in his wisdom chosen the Minister-Designate to fulfil his vision for the Fishing Industry; having assessed her competence on many fronts, including her performance as Member of Parliament for the Awutu Senya Constituency and Former Minister responsible for Special Development Initiatives.

 

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