Mark­ing Africa Day: lo­cal com­pany en­gaged in aqua­cul­ture projects in Africa

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

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, by means of a visit to AquaBioTech.

AquaBioTech is a Malta-based aqua­cul­ture com­pany com­pris­ing 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 learned 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. In this in­stance, in part­ner­ship with a Maltabased com­pany, AquaBioTech will ben­e­fit from in­creased in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure and ac­cess to mar­ket op­por­tu­nity in grow­ing economies,” Min­is­ter Abela stated.

AquaBioTech is an in­ter­na­tional aqua­cul­ture, fish­eries, and ma­rine con­sul­tancy and en­gi­neer­ing com­pany, which be­lieves that English-speak­ing Malta is the per­fect place for it to be based in, strate­gi­cally be­tween Africa and Europe. Fur­ther­more, re­gard­less of its hum­ble façade in sub­ur­ban Mosta, the com­pany is home to in­dus­try-lead­ing, high­tech re­search and de­vel­op­ment fa­cil­i­ties.

Since the for­eign af­fairs min­istry 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 also 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. 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,” the min­is­ter stated.

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. While here, she vis­ited AquaBioTech, which is now look­ing to en­ter both the Ghana­ian and Ethiopian mar­kets in the near fu­ture. This all at­tests to the fact that the afore­men­tioned strat­egy is work­ing.

“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 con­cluded by com­mend­ing AquaBioTech for all the projects it is un­der­tak­ing in Africa and for the in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion it is re­ceiv­ing for its work in ma­rine sciences. “I also want to com­mend AquaBioTech for its em­pha­sis on part­ner­ship, en­vi­ron­men­tal fo­cus and its con­tri­bu­tion to im­prov­ing the liveli­hoods and en­hanc­ing ca­pac­ity of sci­en­tists in Africa.”

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

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