Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 20 July – Japan is providing US$ 6.9 million to Sao Tome for the development of the islands’ fisheries sector, an official has said.
Sao Tome’s director of fisheries, Aida Almeida, said Wednesday that the Japanese financial assistance was part of Tokyo’s cooperation package with the archipelago for 2008-2009. The funds were targeted at self-employed fishermen, improvement of the country’s fish storage and processing facilities, as well as purchase of boats.
Besides being used to provide loans to fishermen in Sao Tome, the Japanese aid will also be used to fund the legal process needed to restart fish exports from the islands to the European Union.
Sao Tome is currently banned from selling fish to Europe due to its failure to adopt EU standards for industry.
Japan, one of Sao Tome’s main aid partners, already grants food aid to the islands through annual rice donations valued at US$ 1.3 million. (macauhub)