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Sunday, July 21, 2024

LIBERIAN GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES FISHERIES SCIENCE PROGRAM

Date:

-As DG Glassco makes a request for additional World Bank support

LIBERIA – The government of Liberia through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, (NaFAA) has officially launched the historic fisheries science program which will be administered at the State University of Liberia.

The Fisheries Science program is expected to provide students with an opportunity to obtain an undergraduate degree in fisheries and aquaculture science. At the same time, it is also designed to prepare fisheries professionals with competencies and acquire practical skills in fisheries and aquaculture as well as fish processing and marketing issues.

Making an overview of the Fisheries Science Program during the grand official launch Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at the main campus of the University of Liberia, the Director of NaFAA mentioned that the overall goal of the program is to build the needed human resource capacity that will support the Liberian government in achieving its sustainable development objectives of national food and nutrition security, resource conservation, and sustainable management of fisheries resource of Liberia, marine and inland ecosystems to provide long-term goods and services to the communities.

“It is anticipated that the program will start its first semester in the academic year 2023/2024 and we look forward to the 2027 Graduating Class, the inaugural”

Madam Emma Metieh Glassco moreover said the program is expected to provide students with an opportunity to obtain an undergraduate degree in fisheries and aquaculture science and is also designed to prepare fisheries professionals with competencies and acquire practical skills in fisheries and aquaculture as well as fish processing and marketing issues.

Speaking further on the fisheries science program Madam Glassco stated that NaFAA in collaboration with the UL administration has also agreed that in order to provide short-termed hands-on technical trainings, research, and scientific interventions in addressing the gaps in the sector, they have established a Regional Centre of Excellence for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Liberia.

She said the Center of Excellence will be very key in supporting the transition of the Liberia fisheries sector to semi and large-scale industrialization through capacity development, institutional strengthening, innovation, research, extension service, and quality assurance, among others. Additionally, it is envisaged that the immediate focus of the Center will be providing technical, capacity development, and knowledge support for the efforts that are aimed at industrializing the fishery sector in Liberia and beyond.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are excited today for reaching this far. It did require a lot of time, effort, lobbying, research, and resources. We want to appreciate the cooperation of the Leadership of the University of Liberia and encourage them to remain focused on ensuring that this program is effective and successful”.

It can be recalled in March 2022 the university administration in partnership with NAFAA signed a memorandum of understanding to commence a Bachelor of Science degree program in Fisheries management as well as a Diploma and technical training program for certificate courses to afford Liberians an opportunity to harness the potential that the Liberian fisheries sector presents.

Meanwhile, the Liberian Fisheries Expert has disclosed that while NaFAA and the UL administration were in the planning and budgeting stages of the Fisheries Science program, it was established that there is a need for additional funding to support faculty capacity development as well as attracting professionals from around the World to provide teaching services.

She noted that they expect to utilize the already established relationships with the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, Auburn University in the United States of America, the University of Iceland, Iceland, and Rhode University, in South Africa.

“We expect to utilize already established relationships with the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, Auburn University in the United States of America, University of Iceland, Iceland, and Rhode University, South Africa”.

Madam Glassco, therefore, calls on the World Bank to consider the program in its activities for the year 2023, especially in securing additional funds for the Regional Centre of Excellence. She noted that they are grateful for the level of support from the Bank and are confident that there will be an intervention for more funds.

“We will like to extend our appreciation to the World Bank Group for the support they have provided and continue to provide for the development of the Liberia Fisheries sector. Your presence, speaks to the level of interest the Bank attached to this project. We can assure you that NaFAA will remain committed to ensuring that the requisite resources provided to support the program are utilized appropriately”.

In another development, the Global Director of Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy, World Bank Group, Dr. Valerie Hickey termed as the right time, the launch of the Fisheries Science program in Liberia.

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