Libya grants US$300,000 to support São Tomé fisheries sector

4 August 2006

São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe, 04 Aug – Libya granted this week a US$300,000 aid package for the fisheries sector in São Tomé and Príncipe and is seeking to expand cooperation to tourism and education, a top official in the island nation’s government said Friday.

Maria Tebus Torres, who is Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Finance, told the Tela Non newspaper that she expected the two countries’ collaboration in fisheries to eventually include the “transformation of fish, for both domestic consumption and exports.”

Libyan investors and technical personnel “have already been in São Tomé and studied some areas where they will intervene,” she stated during the ceremony to mark delivery of the aid, adding that São Tomé “once again stressed the need for them to become involved in the fisheries sector.”

The aid package received by the government consists of about 80 boat engines of various capacities, as well as other fishing equipment.

The assistance follows the recent visit to Libya by the São Tomé head of state, Fradique de Menezes, who was re-elected to office this week.

São Tomé awaits Libya’s reply to another request for fishing equipment, compasses and lamps, and has also asked for support for the state budget.

At the same ceremony, the Libyan ambassador, who resides in Gabon, said his country intends to extend cooperation with São Tomé to the areas of tourism, education and culture.

In March Libya granted São Tomé and Príncipe an unrevealed amount of financial aid, as well as technical assistance for managing the island nation’s downsliding public accounts.