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At the climax of events marking the 2022 International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa, held virtually by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the head of Liberia’s National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), Madam Emma Metieh Glassco, says her leadership has taken giant steps to empower women in the fisheries and aquaculture industries of Liberia.

Madam Glassco has repeatedly said improving opportunities for women in the sector will have far-reaching benefits for the greater good of the community owing to the multiple roles they play.

According to her, NaFAA, through a project sponsored by the World Bank, has budgeted US$2 million to “transition women in fisheries from nonbusiness to microbusiness through entrepreneur training and the provision of matching grants.”

As part of the women in fisheries empowerment scheme, the director general said NaFAA has organized small-scale fishers into the Collaborative Management Association (CMA) across coastal communities in Liberia in order to involve them in decisions that directly or indirectly affect the sector. Also, she reemphasized her support for the establishment of the Liberian chapter of the African Women Fish Processors and Traders Network (AWFISHNET), an AUIBAR program for women in fish processing and trade.

Madam Glassco then encouraged women to take leading roles in the decision-making processes of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and play a major role at all levels in the sector.

“As a fisheries manager, a policymaker, and a champion for increasing the participation of women in the fisheries sector, I encourage women to take up leading roles in the decision-making processes of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and play a major role at all levels in the sector.”

Madam Glassco said the fisheries sector without women will encounter challenges and setbacks. She continued: “In Liberia, women are major players; they own vessels, process the fish, and have it reach the market. “The entire sector is reliant on the contribution of women.”

She made these remarks at the virtual closing ceremony of events marking the 2022 International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa, where she served as a panelist, along with other ministers of fisheries and experts, including the Minister of Fisheries and Blue Economy, Republic of Madagascar, Honorable Tsimanaoraty Paubert Mahatante, Chairperson, East Africa Platform of Non-State Actors in Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector (EARFISH), Okeloh W’Namadoa Silvano, and the President of the African Confederation of Artisanal Fisheries Professional Organizations (CAOPA), Gaoussou Gueye, and the Minister of Fisheries and Blue Economy, Republic of Madagascar.

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