Editor’s Note: April 20, 2018
Should we be talking about Africa’s Blue Economy?
In March thousands of delegates gathered in Mexico for the World Ocean Summit 2018, the world’s leading platform for cross-sector dialogue on the Blue Economy.
What sounds like a term made up by an NGO simply refers to economic activity on or connected to the ocean.
Conspicuously absent from the programme was representation from Africa, with not a single listed speaker from the continent. This is a bit worrying given the Blue Economy’s scale.
Economists have given it an asset value of $24tr and reckon it would be the world’s seventh largest economy were it a country.
The Blue Economy’s significance to Africa is multi-layered, from climate change and sustainable development, to billions lost each year to illegal fishing and piracy, as well as job creation in key sectors like tourism, which accounts for 8.5% of Africa’s GDP.
Yet the issue is treated as a marginal concern. There is little information on how Africa can better harness its potential. The most extensive research to date appears to be a policy handbook by UNECA.
Given how many air miles are racked up on the Africa business conference circuit each year not even participating in things like the World Ocean Summit is an unnecessary, and potentially costly oversight.
From The Continent
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The Daily Follow
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