Unlocking the full potential of Africa’s Blue Economy | 11 February 2020
“Seychelles has built a global reputation as a pioneer in promoting sustainable oceans-oriented growth,” Vice-President Vincent Meriton has said.
“As a nation, we have recognised and paid very close attention in understanding the principles which the Blue Economy relies on. Those principles are deeply embedded in all of our national development strategies and policies,” Vice-President Meriton said during a high-level event on the Blue Economy held under the theme of ‘Unlocking the full potential of Africa’s Blue Economy - A continental strategy for joint action’.
The event took place on the margins of the AU Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The development of a sustainable Blue Economy is of strategic importance to implementation of Agenda 2063 flagship projects such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that aims to accelerate intra-African trade and strengthen Africa’s common voice and trading position in the global market place.
Having the Blue Economy Strategy will guide the development of an inclusive and sustainable Blue Economy that becomes a significant contributor to continental transformation and growth. This is achieved through advancing knowledge on the following: marine and aquatic biotechnology; environmental sustainability; the growth of an Africa-wide shipping industry; the development of sea, river and lake transport; the management of tourism and fishing activities on aquatic spaces; and the exploitation of deep sea mineral and other resources.
The objectives of the side event were to:
- Officially present the Continental Blue Economy Strategy and the coordination mechanism for its implementation;
- Solicit input from African leaders to the recommendations from the high level panel;
- Trigger, amplify and accelerate action for a sustainable ocean economy by key stakeholders;
- Provide a platform for policy-dialogue on, leadership, partnerships and cooperation at all levels in facilitating a coherent, coordinated and efficient implementation of the Continental Blue Economy Strategy.
Other speakers and presenters at the event were: Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada; Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway; Antonio Guterres, UN secretary general; Ambassador Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union; Quartey Thomas Kwesi, deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Vice-President Meriton was accompanied by Dr Marina Confait, principal secretary in the department of Foreign Affairs; Kenneth Racombo, principal secretary for the Blue Economy; Ambassador David Pierre, Seychelles permanent representative to the African Union and senior officials from the department of the Blue Economy.
Press release from the department of Foreign Affairs