Ghana joins FiTI!

Ghana joins FiTI!

The Republic of Ghana has announced today its commitment to join the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI). The official commitment letter was handed over by Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to the Chair of the FiTI International Board, Dr Valeria Merino, during a side event at the 36th session of the Committee on Fisheries, COFI36.

Ghana has extensive and valuable marine fisheries resources that are exploited by both industrial and artisanal fisheries. The fisheries and aquaculture sector contributes to food and nutrition security, poverty alleviation, wealth and job creation to an estimated 3 million people engaged in the fisheries and aquaculture value chain. Marine fisheries contribute about 70% of the total annual fish production which translates into significant income and foreign exchange towards Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), economic development and the sustainable livelihoods of vulnerable coastal communities.

In her official commitment letter, the Minister recalled that the FiTI’s recent TAKING STOCK transparency assessment showed that the country is not data deficient but does lack the framework to make valuable fisheries information publicly accessible and usable. With this commitment, the national authorities of Ghana are now seeking to collaborate ‘with relevant government regulatory institutions, industry and Fisheries Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to improve accessibility and transparency in marine fisheries management in accordance with the FiTI Standard.’

Ghana has also been a long serving member country of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which promotes transparent, inclusive and accountable governance across all sectors and government functions. The commitment to enhance transparency of Ghana’s fisheries sector has already been included in the country’s most recent OGP National Action Plan (2024-2028).

During the side event, Minister Koomson pushed for more nations to join the FiTI, stating: “As Ghana has taken this step, I wish to encourage other countries of the West Central Gulf of Guinea to join FiTI to improve data availability and enhance regional collaboration considering the shared nature of our marine fisheries resources.”

With today’s commitment, Ghana becomes the first country to implement the FiTI within the West Central Gulf of Guinea, taking a leadership position in the region. Ghana is also the tenth country to join the FiTI, after Mauritania, Seychelles, Senegal, Cabo Verde, Madagascar, São Tomé and Príncipe, Ecuador, Guinea, and Chile.

The FiTI International Secretariat will continue providing technical guidance to Ghana to ensure that the country’s candidate application to the FiTI can be completed in due time.

Welcome Ghana!

Photos courtesy of Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson.