Hopes and Fears on Blue Economy

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In Nov, the Blue Economy Conference was hosted in Nairobi, Kenya. It ended on a high note but the momentum of engagements about advancing the vital Blue Economy sector in an optimal, sustainable and inclusive way in Kenya and across, Africa should not lose steam. Standard Digital

The conference emphasized the massive potential that can be harnessed in littoral and marine resources – not just in Africa but around the world. This can be achieved through the creation of a secure maritime domain which would add value to a Blue Economy in terms of fishing, trade, transport and tourism. The implementation of these initiatives will no doubt be more challenging. This is a problem often attributed to the metaphorical malaise of ‘sea blindness’ – an indifference of the value of safe and secure seas, and now of sustainable development. All Africa

The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed its readiness to cooperate with other countries to advance Africa’s Blue Economy. According to the Minister of Transportation, its growth was the most viable option for Africa’s development in the wake of declining mineral and commodity prices.  The Maritime Executive

Angola intends to establish a solid partnership with the Norwegian government with a view to creating a national strategy for the exploration of marine products. All Africa

If the delegates from more than 150 countries who attended the first high-level conference on the “Sustainable Blue Economy” are any indication, interest in the topic seems to be rising. But will this indicator spell good or bad for a Sustainable Blue Economy, widely understood to mean an inclusive green economy for the ocean? The East African

A conference was held in Tunis titled, ‘Med Blue Economy’. Sustainable development in the Blue Economy of the Mediterranean was the focus of the Conference. It was organized  by the Tunisian-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CTCI), the Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies, the Italian-Maltese Chamber of Commerce (head of the Med Blue Economy project), and the Italian Economic Development Confederation (CISE). ANSA Med

Many principal ocean assets are declining as a result of exploitation. And this is happening at a time when the use of ocean resources to support growth is accelerating. The Conversation

However, to be “sustainable,” the Blue Economy needs a model quite different from our dominant economic model: A ”take-make-dispose” economy that converts public wealth into private profits, leaving in its wake a trail of devastation: Distributional inequity, environmental externalities, and depleted resources for future generations. The East African

Where there are great hopes associated with the ‘Blue Economy’, there are also fears that this is the next step for multinational companies backed by the Western governments to ‘occupy’ the ocean’s landscape around Africa, as they have done with Africa’s mineral resources in the passing decades. Nations must be strict on ensuring that all projects must be sustainable and environment friendly – and must not end in depletion of marine resources.

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