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The international and Pan-African organisations have agreed to collaborate on initiatives that would promote the development of Blue Economy in Africa.
At the African Blue Economy Forum held in South African recently, the need for direct action to deliver the environmental, economic and social benefits for Africa, and particularly its coastal nations given that 90 percent of Africa’s trade is conducted by sea, was stressed during the two days of insight.
Speakers agreed on the urgent need for better cooperation between the ocean stakeholders, better governance and law enforcement.
They say that regional, national and local strategies are required to build a long-term plan and develop partnerships that are beyond short-term projects.
According to them, engaging with new technologies and innovative financing mechanisms are also critical to shaping a sustainable Blue Economy in Africa.
“We can no longer just dip our toe in the water; we must dive in and be decisive in making and delivering change that will serve Africa for many years to come. It is no longer business as usual. Africa must have a sustainable blue business plan which will have a positive impact on the environment, on the economy and on society,” said Leila Ben Hassen, ABEF founder and CEO of Blue Jay Communication, organisers’ of the forum.
She said a sustainable blue business plan would accelerate Africa’s transformation, create jobs, sustain livelihoods and empower communities, while offering impactful climate change measures.
This was acknowledged at ABEF2019 across a range of panels with topics that explored how governments and the private sector can collaborate; tackling ocean pollution; innovative funding solutions; enhanced food security and sustainable growth for the fishing industry; sustainable ocean energy; how to engage more women to work in the maritime value chains, and the opportunities to embrace the youth in the Blue Economy.