DG Glassco Holds Technical Meeting with Chinese Ambassador Ren Yisheng

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On Monday, May 9, 2012 the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), Honorable Emma Metieh Glassco held a bilateral meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Ren Yisheng, at the Chinese Embassy in Congo Town. The meeting brought together, the Chinese Economic and Commercial Counselor, Mr. Li Jiang and other Embassy staff, while Madam Glassco was accompanied by Mr. Alexander Dunbar, Director of Policy Planning and Investment, Mr. Zizi A. Kaddeh, Director for Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries, Mr. Siekula T. Vannie, Chief of Staff to the Director General among others.
During the meeting Madam Emma Metieh Glassco disclosed that her visit to the Embassy was to foster a stronger relationship between the Chinese Embassy near Monrovia and the Liberian Fisheries Sector. She encouraged the Chinese to look towards the fisheries sector while undertaking development programs in Liberia. She commended them for all the support they have provided NaFAA, especially providing training opportunities for the staff, both at the Master Degree level and the short termed technical training. She further stated that currently, NaFAA is seeking investment in the small-scale fisheries especially in attracting semi-industrial vessels to boost local production to curb the fish demand deficit. She emphasized that Liberia will only be opened to industrial fishing vessels after the completion of a comprehensive stock assessment, which is accepted to commence in the June of this year.
Commenting further on improving fisheries development in Liberia, she informed the Chinese of the current World Bank project which supports the establishment of a Fisheries Program at the University of Liberia. She asked the Chinese to assist in providing technical support to the UL program, especially the Aquaculture program, by providing experts or professors as well as other professionals for knowledge sharing and capacity development. She proposed a training of trainer’s program, which will provide more opportunities to develop local talents in aquaculture development. She said there is a need for assistance to bridge the skill gaps in the Aquaculture sector.
Concluding, Madam Glassco informed the Chinese diplomat of NaFAA’s decision to adapt climate smart approaches in the fisheries sector, by transitioning from dugout wooden canoes to Fiberglass boats. She encouraged the Chinese, who are one of the leading manufacturers of Fiberglass boats, to take advantage of the investment opportunities to start the local production of Fiberglass boats in Liberia. She said it is a great business opportunity in the sector and will also provide job opportunities for the Liberian people.
In response, Ambassador Ren expressed his delight of Madam Glassco’s visit and her interest in partnering with the Chinese Embassy to strengthen the Liberia Fisheries Sector. Ambassador Ren said he is impressed that NaFAA had taken full advantage of the training opportunities that was offered its Staff in China. However, he mentioned that due to the current COVID Pandemic, scholarships and training are now online and the Chinese Economic and Commercial Consulate provides hundreds of online programs for Liberians. He encouraged NaFAA management to take advantage of the opportunities and apply for the online training.
In response to the request for technical support to the UL program, Ambassador Ren stated that he was very impressed with DG Glassco’s Training of Trainers concept and he believes that this will be the best approach and required supporting.
He further stated that the Chinese Embassy attaches great importance to NaFAA and is willing to partner with the entity for the development of the Sector. He said that China is heavily involved in aquaculture and is willing to support NaFAA to improve aquaculture development especially in bringing experts for training and provide other opportunities in introducing different aquaculture techniques for the sector, such as improving fish pond construction, cage fish farming among others.
In closing Madam Glassco and the Ambassador Ren, agreed to develop a bilateral relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding that will outline that scope of technical support to NaFAA’s program and the fisheries sector.8O4A4819.jpg
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