Marking Africa Day: Minister Abela visits local company engaged in aquaculture projects in Africa

Marking Africa Day: Minister Abela visits local company engaged in aquaculture projects in Africa

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: May 28, 2018
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela, marked International Africa Day, which commemorates the 1963 launch of the Organisation of African Unity, known as the African Union, with a visit to AquaBioTech - a Malta-based aquaculture company of 50 local and international specialist staff engaged in various projects, including a sustainable water recirculating system for the Victoria Lake Basin through integrating waste water treatment and aquaculture.

The Minister heard more about the project and the rest of the company’s work, from the team behind it, before touring the facilities. The VicInAqua project has secured EU funds under the Horizon2020 programme, and will assist Africa’s development agenda by providing a sustainable and cost-effective solution to provide clean water for aquaculture, and fish to feed the local population. 
“EU initiatives often help provide the necessary skills and resources to ensure African countries can reach their full potential,” Minister Abela said. “In this instance, in partnership with a Malta-based company. And AquaBioTech will benefit from increased international exposure and access to market opportunity in growing economies.”

AquaBioTech​ is an international aquaculture, fisheries and marine consultancy and engineering company, who believe English-speaking Malta is the perfect place for them to be based: strategically between Africa and Europe. And behind their humble façade in the depths of suburban Mosta, you would not expect to see such industry-leading, high-tech research and development facilities.

Since the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Minister Abela took over the trade promotion portfolio last year, Malta’s presence in Africa has grown: the country’s first diplomatic mission will soon open in Ghana, and an Ambassador to Ethiopia has been designated.

“Maltese Representation in Africa plays an important role in taking our ‘trade not aid’ strategy forward, because it provides vital assurance and support for Malta-based companies to do business there,” the Minister continued. “With the help of TradeMalta, we are laying the foundations for partnerships and growth in Africa, reflecting Malta’s vision as an international hub of excellence, and ensuring our trade commitments will benefit all.”

And the strategy is working. Minister Abela led a trade mission to Ghana last year, and Ghana’s Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, visited Malta for the EU-hosted ‘Our Ocean’ conference. When here, she visited AquaBioTech who are now looking to enter both the Ghanaian and Ethiopian markets soon.

“We, the Maltese government, try to help support companies like AquaBioTech as much as possible. Through Trade Malta, we can assist with access to decision-makers in key countries and guidance on which countries in Africa to focus on. We are committed to encouraging further investment in Africa in support of the internationalisation of Maltese trade, helping the private sector in Malta to enhance its presence and prospects on the continent of Africa.”
The Minister finished the visit by commending AquaBioTech for all the projects they are undertaking in Africa, and for the international recognition they are receiving for their work in marine sciences. “I also want to commend AquaBioTech for their emphasis on partnership, environmental focus, and their contribution to improving the livelihoods and enhancing capacity of scientists in Africa.”

The Minister visited AquaBioTech with Malta’s Ambassador Designate to Ethiopia, Ronald Micallef, and Trade Malta CEO, Anton Buttigieg.

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