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

Ethiopia’s new prime minister Abiy Ahmed has changed 10 ministers, including the minister of defence, in his first cabinet reshuffle aimed at addressing mounting public pressure for reform. The foreign and finance ministers were retained from his predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn, who resigned in February. More: Reuters


Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the Senegalese capital Dakar on Thursdayover a proposed change to election laws critics say will effectively bar minor candidates from contesting 2019 presidential elections. The bill only needs incumbent Macky Sall’s signature to come into force. More: Reuters

The Daily Stat

16,000

The number of striking nurses sacked in Zimbabwe after their labour action over unpaid allowances was deemed “politically motivated”. More: Africanews

The Global Perspective

Global diamond-giant De Beers, majority-owned by Anglo American, has launched an app to certify the legality of diamonds from small-scale miners in Sierra Leone. This is part of a broader push by mining companies to clean up the industry’s image on the continent. More:Reuters 

Germany has agreed to resettle 10,000 refugees from the Middle East and North Africa as part of the European Union’s voluntary resettlement program. As part of the scheme member states will be reimbursed from a €500m fund for each refugee received. More: Euronews

The Daily Follow

Oceans Beyond Piracy @Piracy_OBP: News and updates on the global response to maritime piracy.