Gabon’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze, on May 27, 2020, officially opened by video-conference exploratory talks in Libreville with a view to formally resume negotiations on the fisheries protocol linking Gabon and the European Union (EU).
The Gabonese delegation to the talks was led by the country’s Minister of Agriculture, Biendi Maganga Moussavou, while the European Union was represented by the Chief of the EU Delegation in Gabon, Rosario Bento Pais.
This first phase of the talks will be centred on the agenda of formal discussions on the fisheries accord before the technical aspects which will follow during the negotiations proper.
According to Moussavou, “…the beginning of this phase of the discussions which was scheduled for March this year but delayed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, is testimony to the will of the two parties to structure a new generation partnership, which would be balanced within a context largely dominated by the increasing insecurity occasioned by the spike in acts of piracy within the Gulf of Guinea.”
The exploratory talks would enable the two parties to essentially agree on a date on which to resume official negotiations, fix an indicative calendar, define the modalities of the negotiations and equally search for ways and means of establishing a stable base for cooperation which would contribute to and sustain the industrialisation of fishing in Gabon.
“The putting in place of the Fisheries Accords can prove to be very beneficial because it can create local employment, ameliorate social conditions and promote the development of a local fisheries industry in consonance with the strategy of diversification of the nation’s economy,” declared the EU Delegate Pais.
According to officials in Gabon’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the cooperation in the domain of fisheries between Gabon and the EU is 22 years old, and merits being advanced are to enable Gabon in its efforts towards the revalorization of its aquatic resources and the diversification of its economy.