AUDA-NEPAD says Blue Economy holds great potential for Africa's transformation
Posted by JUDITH DORA AKOLO on 10 December 2021 11:35 AM CAT
By Judith Akolo
The FishGov-2 Project Manager at the African Union Development Agency – NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) Dr Clement Adjorlolo says the Blue Economy holds great potential for Africa’s transformation. He argues that the blue economy as the new frontier for human development is important, “in especially economic and social transformation of the continent,” he says.
Speaking at the Inception Workshop on Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity in African Blue Economy, held in Naivasha, Kenya, Dr. Adjorlolo urged for better coordination among African Union member states by building synergies, in utilizing the African Blue Economy Strategy (ABES) through putting in place modalities that will allow for resource mobilization towards utilizing the potential provided by the various resources that make up the Blue Economy.
“The African Union’s Africa Blue Economy Strategy (ABES) identifies environmental sustainability and biodiversity protection as a key strategic goal for healthy ecosystems and sustainable blue economy development,” he said at the opening of the launch of the Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity in African Blue Economy project sponsored by the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency (SIDA).
Dr. Adjorlolo said that the ABES has five thematic areas which include; fisheries and aquaculture, ecosystems, maritime, governance of the oceans and marine resources, transport trade all which make up the of the Blue Economy, which he said “Africa needs to harness in order to achieve sustained economic and social transformation.”
He advised on the need for Africa to prioritize its strengths and invest in upgrading the infrastructure to be able to utilize the opportunities that present themselves under the blue economy. He noted that ocean management requires capacity building at different levels including institutional capacity as well as from the continental levels to the Regional Economic Community (RECs) and to the individual countries in order to exploit the vast marine resources “oceans do not have boundaries they are inter-connected, hence we need to be co-ordinated to be able to manage the resources,” he added.
Dr. Adjorlolo expressed concern that climate change is already impacting on marine resources and livelihoods that are dependent on the resources, “therefore, how we manage the oceans determines how much we can get from the oceans as a resource, it is a shared resource and we need to take care of it,” he said and added that, “as the oceans get warmer, they are also changing the ecosystem, some species are getting impacted, marine plant species and fish are also being impacted.
Among the other issues he said is the melting of the ice due to global warming that is causing a rise in ocean levels, causing coastal erosion, “all these are having impacts on the marine ecosystem,” he said.
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