African conference on blue economy begins in Kenya-Xinhua

African conference on blue economy begins in Kenya

Source: Xinhua| 2024-07-03 23:40:00|Editor: huaxia

KWALE, Kenya, July 3 (Xinhua) -- The second edition of the African conference on the blue economy started in the Kenyan coastal town of Kwale Wednesday, focusing on strategies to boost investments in the sector of the continent.

The two-day Blue Invest Africa 2024 conference attracted the participation of more than 200 development agencies, investors, entrepreneurs, and senior government officials from 36 countries across Africa.

Salim Mvurya, the cabinet secretary for the Kenyan Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs, said in his opening remarks that the country recognizes the potential of various sectors within the blue economy, including maritime transport and shipping, tourism, culture and recreation, fisheries and aquaculture, renewable energy, and extractive industry such as bio prospecting that can provide meaningful wealth creation.

"Investment in Africa's blue economy is vital for the realization of benefits such as the reduction of poverty and inequity and the realization of greater socioeconomic advancement," Mvurya said.

He suggested that blue investments should be structured to fund research and innovation that will spur entrepreneurship along various values chains in the blue economy sector.

According to the African Union (AU), the continent's blue economy currently generates about 300 billion U.S. dollars annually in revenues and sustains 50 million jobs. It projects that the blue economy will realize more than 405 billion dollars per year and create 57 million employment opportunities by 2030.

Charlina Vitcheva, director general of the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of European Commision, said that Africa's blue economy offers numerous opportunities because of the region's vast coastline. Through legal and regulatory reforms, Africa can attract a pipeline of investments that can transform the blue economy, Vitcheva added.

Betsy Njagi, principal secretary in the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs, said that some of the challenges inhibiting sustainable and optimal investments into the blue economy include climate change, biodiversity losses, and pollution of the aquatic resources.