Africa-Press – Liberia. Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County- The European Union, with the support of the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), the implementer of the European Union-funded Communities for Fisheries project, has concluded a day-long community event commemorating the European Union and Liberia 50 years of partnership in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County.
2023 marks five decades of fruitful relations between Liberia and the European Union (EU). The EU works in many sectors in Liberia, including Agriculture, Forestry, Human Rights, Technical and Vocational Education Training, Electricity, Climate Change and Fisheries.
The canoe race brought together over 100 fishermen from over 16 communities, competing in two categories for the best fisherman award.
Speaking at the opening of the competition, Nona Deprez, Ambassador and head of Delegation of the European Union to Liberia, said the 50 years of partnership is a moment to acknowledge the European Union’s commitment to the peace and development of Liberia.
According to her, the partnership between the EU and Liberia is a lasting deal because there are many governments that have come and gone both in Europe and Liberia.
“As we celebrate the progress brought about by our 50 years of partnership, we must also acknowledge that more work needs to be done”, she added.
The EU ambassador to Liberia further noted that the European Union remains unwavering in its support for Liberia’s development, promoting good governance and safeguarding human rights and democracy.
Speaking about the just-ended 2023 Liberian elections, Madam Nona Deprez lauded citizens of the country for participating in a democratically free and fair election.
“This is the moment for all Liberians to celebrate the proud and long-standing tradition of a free society that provides a more conducive environment for investments and increased tourism by contributing to increased development and job creation.
On behalf of the Environmental Justice Foundation, Cephas Asare, West Africa Regional Manager, appreciated the EU Delegation to Liberia for supporting the fisheries sector through the empowerment of fishing communities to comanage the fisheries with the government to address illegal fishing activities and improve their livelihoods.
“This event spotlights the importance of fisheries to food security and livelihood of Liberians and the EU’s commitment to developing sustainable, legal and healthy fisheries in Liberia,” he said.
The event was climaxed with a boat race. Two winners from Robertsports and one from Tailor Kru Town emerged from the race and were awarded. Joe Nagbe’s team from Tailor Kru Town was the first winner, coming first in two separate races, while Deeper Paul’s team from Robertsport finished as the second winner. Marcus Boyah and Sensee Perry were the joint third winners.
The three winners were awarded medals, branded life jackets and other materials from the European Union.