Aurora foundation has signed an agreement with the government of Sierra Leone and the private company Neptune Holding on the operation of four fish landing sites in the country. The agreement was signed in Freetown today on Aurora‘s 8th anniversary. It will be valid for ten years but the immediate funding of the operation will be 1 million US dollars. It was Birta Ólafsdóttir, a board member of Aurora foundation, who signed the agreement on behalf of Aurora.
The fish landing sites were built in 2012 by the African Development Fund and the government of Sierra Leone. However, the sites have not become operational, mostly due to lack of know-how in the country. On the basis of the new agreement, their operation will become realizable.
The agreement is a Public-private partnership (PPP) agreement, the first if its kind in Sierra Leone. Its signatories are Aurora, Neptune Holding and the government of Sierra Leone. Neptune will provide professional expertise and funds to the project, Aurora will bring funds and the benevolence of its mission while the government will represent the interests of the people of Sierra Leone. The spirit of the agreement is to combine the strengths of private enterprise, development cooperation and innovation. It is expected that the operation of the sites will be taken over by local operators at the expiration of the agreement.
The operation will focus to develop the fishing techniques of local fishermen, skills in fish processing and logistics. In essence, the objective is to seek better ways to utilize the rich fishing resources of Sierra Leone in a sustainable manner and at the same time improve the value of each fish caught. In the meantime, it is expected that the operation will stimulate more fish consumption in the country, but fish is the main protein source of the nation. Today, the annual catch of fish is 100 tons in Sierra Leone. The sites are expected to provide jobs for up to 400 people.
Aurora foundation believes that the project is a very important one. Its primary goal is to give the people of Sierra Leone a better opportunity to boost its knowledge of its valuable fishing grounds and enable them to make a better value out of it for the benefit of the whole nation. Aurora believes a strong and sustainable economy is very important to every nation. As a consequence, it is the sincere wish of Aurora foundation that the project will help to create an important pillar for the economy of Sierra Leone to rest on.
Mr. Ólafur Ólafsson, Chiarman of the board of Aurora Foundation: “It is indeed a very interesting and important project. Our vision is that a robust and a strong economy, that people can rely on, can thrive independently in Sierra Leone. The nation’s fishing sector has many opportunities to develop and grow and we believe that the resurrection of the fish landing sites is a correct and a logical step in that respect.”