More than half the population of Ghana gains their income in one of three industries; agriculture, forestry and fishing. The waters of Ghana are rich with different types of fish such as tuna, barracuda, cape hake and more. The fish is present in the local market and locals export it around the world as well, which could improve Ghana’s blue economy.
One might wonder if the ocean could be more useful to Ghana than it already is. Dr. Emmanuel Kofi Mbiah, former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority and current maritime consultant and legal practitioner, believes that Ghana’s blue economy could possibly save Ghana from its economic issues. Currently, Ghana is experiencing an economic crisis that it has not seen since the 1980s. Consumer prices have risen more than 40% and there have been widespread food shortages nationwide. The country’s currency continues to depreciate and is currently one of the worst-performing currencies. With that, 3.4 million people in Ghana are living in extreme poverty in 2022.
Dr. Mbiah is urging the Ghana government to take a severe look at capitalizing on the blue economy to help alleviate some of the economic turmoil the country has been facing. The blue economy is an economic term that is linked to the exploitation and conservation of the maritime environment. He believes that the economic resources that come from the ocean can lift Ghana out of its economic turmoil. Mbiah stated that the ocean and its resources could be worth “over $24 trillion.”
In 2020, the United States of America had 1.7% of its GDP from its ocean economy – which amounts to more than $360 billion. Meanwhile, the ocean economy is worth about €500 billion for the European Union. For these people, they realized long ago the potential of Ghana’s blue economy. Not only does Dr. Mbiah believe that the fishing industry can produce more than it already does, but he also noted that Ghana could use the ocean for its energy power. With renewable energy becoming the new way of the world, Dr. Mbiah wants the government to look into how it can use the power of the ocean for its energy as well.
By capitalizing on Ghana’s natural resources, the country can help alleviate some of the economic hardships plaguing the country over the last few years. The government should take the potential that the industry has with serious thought. With the proximity to the ocean and the skills that Ghana has, the sea leads to endless possibilities and opportunities.
– Olivia MacGregor