Africa's Blue Economy can be a major contributor to the continental transformation, sustainable economic progress, and social development. During this year’s 33rd African Union Summit in Ababa Ababa, Ethiopia, the Africa Blue Economy Strategy was launched at a High -level Side Event at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa on 8th February, 2020.
Launched under the theme "Developing a sustainable blue economy; increasing momentum for Africa’s Blue Growth", the Africa Blue Economy Strategy’s vision is an inclusive and sustainable blue economy that significantly contributes to Africa’s transformation and growth.
The objective of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy is to guide the development of an inclusive and sustainable blue economy that becomes a significant contributor to continental transformation and growth, through advancing knowledge on 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 fishing activities on these aquatic spaces, and the exploitation and beneficiation of deep sea minerals and other resources.
The Africa Blue Economy Strategy is consolidated the following five detailed thematic technical reports that are annexed to the Strategy:
- Fisheries, aquaculture, conservation and sustainable aquatic ecosystems
- Shipping/transportation, trade, ports, maritime security, safety and enforcement
- Coastal and maritime tourism, climate change, resilience, environment, infrastructure
- Sustainable energy and mineral resources and innovative industries
- Policies, institutional and governance, employment, job creation and poverty eradication, innovative financing
The strategy launch brought together High Level representatives of the African Union. Notably is H.E. Amb. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, who gave the Introduction of Africa’s Blue Economy Strategy and Presentation of Objectives of the High-level Side Event. The Deputy Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission, H.E. Quartey Thomas Kwesi, who made a statement on behalf of the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Present at the launch were also Member States, African Presidents members of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (HLP). Remarks were made by the representative to the President of the Republic of Seychelles and AU Champion for the Blue Economy, H.E. Mr Danny Faure. The Norwegian Prime Minister, H.E. Erna Solberg in her capacity as co-chair of the HLP, H.E. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, and H.E Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General. Members of the High Level Panel on Sustainable Ocean economy, Key partners on blue economy, the Private sector and Association in Maritime, Women, and Media were also present.
The strategy reinforces the commitments of African countries to work towards the SDGs, particularly SDG 14 “life below water”, the vision of Agenda 2063 and to accelerate implementation of AU policies and instruments such as the AU 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy, the AU-Lomé Charter on Maritime Security, Safety and Development, and the Revised African Maritime Transport Charter.