Under the support of the Kingdom of Norway, AU-IBAR is providing support to Regional Economic Communities towards the formulation of regional blue economy strategies. In line with that support, AU-IBAR, in collaboration with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), convened a meeting to review the draft Blue Economy Strategy by member states during a recent meeting held in Lusaka, Zambia, from 26-27 April 2022. The strategy aims to realize sustainable ocean-based economic development in COMESA member states and all-inclusive development results through integration, particularly by enhancing an integrated approach to tackling sustainable investment issues in an ocean-based economy for national benefits.
Speaking during the official opening of the event, the COMESA Assistant Secretary-General, Dr Kipyego Cheluget noted that “An integrated approach to ocean-based and inland water development, which brings together economy, environment and society is crucial,”
Through an integrated approach, it is envisaged that the blue economy initiative will support its members towards:
1. Improving production and trade of fish and fisheries products.
2. Increasing the contribution of tourism to economic growth in COMESA.
3. Improving shipping/transportation, trade, ports.
4. Sustainable energy and mineral resources and innovative industries.
5. Improved management of natural resources.
Speaking on half of AU-IBAR’s Executive Director, Mr. Admore Chakadenga, noted “In partnership with the Kingdom of Norway, AU-IBAR is also supporting the RECs to develop their blue economy strategies consistent wither the aspirations of the RECs as well as aligned with the African Blue Economy Strategy. Deservedly so, I am pleased to note that COMESA is one of the first beneficiary institutions of this support. The support by AU-IBAR has entailed providing technical assistance to COMESA for the formulation of the regional strategy.”