By Toshitsugu Uesawa along with Siddharth Chatterjee
Nairobi — With not bad reason, Africa is usually excited over the prospects of sharing inside the multi-trillion maritime industry, with the continent’s Agenda 2063 envisioning the blue economy as a foremost contributor to transformation along with growth.
The United Nations has described Africa’s oceans, lakes along with rivers as the “fresh frontier of the African renaissance”.
The Blue Economy conference is usually happening in Nairobi coming from 26 November to 28 November 2018. We commend the Governments Kenya along with Canada for spearheading This kind of important initiative.
The UN family is usually pleased to be part of This kind of along with Japan is usually honoured to join This kind of as a co-host.
The theme of the Blue Economy conference along with the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development, will focus on fresh technologies along with innovation for oceans, seas, lakes along with rivers as well as the challenges, potential opportunities, priorities along with partnerships.
“The conference presents immense opportunities for the growth of our economy especially sectors such as fisheries, tourism, maritime transport, off-shore mining among others in a way which the land economy has failed to do,” said Ambassador Macharia Kamau, Principle Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kenya.
The conference is usually anchored on the two conceptual pillars of: Sustainability, Climate Change along with Controlling Pollution, along with Production, Accelerated Economic Growth, Jobs along with Poverty Alleviation.
Consider the potential: more than half of the countries inside the continent are coastal along with island states. Africa carries a coastline of over 47,000 km along with 13 million km2 of collective exclusive economic zones (EEZs).
Yet, very little of the potential of the blue economy is usually actually exploited. the idea is usually estimated which Africa’s coastline currently hosts a maritime industry worth $1 trillion per year, nevertheless could potentially be worth almost three times which in just two years’ time.
As the continent looks at the promise of prosperity coming from its maritime resources, the idea must keep an eye trained on the dangers which lurk when such resources are not properly managed.
With the narrative of oil discoveries, sustainable exploitation based on enforcement of national along with international legislation must guide any strategies for exploitation of the blue economy.
Current realities inside the sector justify the cautious approach: as a result of over-exploitation of the region’s fish stocks, the idea is usually estimated which Africa is usually losing US 1.3 billion dollars every year.
Globally, laissez faire activities around marine resources result in pollution which compromise biodiversity along with human health. the idea is usually estimated for instance which between 5 along with 13 million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, causing at least $13 billion annually in economic losses.
For the more than one-quarter of Africa’s population which lives within 100 km of the coast along with derive their livelihoods there, climate change, rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification along with rising sea levels, all present further challenges.
These are the challenges which SDG 14 on conservation along with sustainable use of the oceans, seas along with marine resources seeks to confront.
the idea is usually clear which if the continent is usually to establish a viable blue economy, African countries must begin with focus on the current limited infrastructure along with capacities to assure maritime security along with coastal protection.
The second imperative is usually to establish partnerships, including innovative financing designs, preferably driven by the private sector.
The initial signs are encouraging. Already, more than half of the countries in Africa have adopted the African Charter on Maritime Security along with Development (“Lomé Charter”), agreeing on continent-wide marine protection along with security measures. This kind of will include cooperation in training, establishment of national maritime coordination agencies, along with most importantly, harmonisation of national maritime legislation.
The above will be part of the continent’s long term vision for the development of the blue economy, elaborated well inside the Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy).
We must come together to deal with the complexity of the task ahead. Challenges abound inside the numerous negotiations, planning, coordination along with stakeholder engagement tasks which must be achieved first.
Investors will be convinced in participating inside the African blue economy, when some of the above are taken care of. The absence of data, policy along with legal frameworks will be obvious impediments to the large-scale maritime infrastructure investments needed to realize the ambitious goals of the 2050 AIM Strategy.
At the international Blue Economy conference which takes place in Nairobi, many investors along with countries will have an opportunity to examine which sector of the blue economy they can realistically focus public along with private investments in.
With proper regulatory frameworks, the blue economy sector will not only present pathways out of poverty for the continent, nevertheless they will also ensure an environmentally sustainable future.
The Blue Economy can be a driver of Africa’s structural transformation, sustainable economic progress, along with social development.