I take pleasure in welcoming you all to the first National Olupale Leeshi 2012 in Swakopmund, Namibia. post
The mandate of the Ministry is to manage living aquatic resources to continiously ensure a conducive environment for the fishing and aquaculture sector to prosper, as well as to empower the Namibian people to a level where they can effectively participate and contribute to wealth creation and national development goals.
This event which showcases the trends in Marine and Aquaculture Sector will highlight the importance of the fisheries sector in Namibia and the major role it plays in contributing to national development, food security, sustainable development, the improvement of livelihoods and its important contribution towards the realization of Vision 2030 as well as the achievement of National Development Plans (NDPs) goals.
For this conference to succeed, it is important to emphasize the theme that is “Raising the Bar”. I call upon the conference to identify and deliberate on the prerequisites required for Raising the Bar in the fishing sector. I am sure that there is potential to raise the bar in the areas of employment creation, value addition, product development, diversifying markets, improving on investment, enhanced skills and entrepreneurship, sustainable management of resources and maximizing revenue.
In order to understand the dynamics in the fishing sector the political, economics, social and climatic considerations, should be discuss for puposes of tackgling the issues affecting the current fisheries situation as well as emerging issues that could impede sustainable development and hinder the contribution of fisheries to economic growth. At the end of the conference I would like us to come up with the blueprint of actionable activities that my ministry and stakholders, in particular, fishing industry will be require to implement.
When I look back to where we came from, it is evident that the Namibian government has taken commendable steps to rebuild commercial fish stocks that were depleted, promote maximum participation of Namibians in the fishing industry and increase accrued benefits to the local and national economy from the industry. My Ministry has put up policies and a legislative framework to regulate and direct the fishing and aquaculture industries. Furthermore, I note that my Ministry has fostered close relations and partnership with the fishing industry through consultation and sharing of ideas on how to better the environment in which the private sector operates. And therefore we want to strentghen the relationship.
I would like to share with you that there will be an opportunity during the conference for companies to exhibit and market their products. This will create an opportunity for networking sessions amongst participants. I also want to inform you that the conference coincides with the World Ocean’s Day which will be celebrated.
It is against this background that I welcome you all to the Olupale Leeshi conference which will raise the bar.