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Africa pledges to deliver Blue Economy at Africa Blue Economy Forum 2019

 The prospect of a fully sustainable Blue
Economy for Africa gathered significant momentum following the second Africa
Blue Economy Forum (ABEF2019) (www.ABEF2019.com) held in Tunis on 25-26 June.

aquaculture, shipping, ports, energy and finance industries all came under the
spotlight at ABEF2019, which drew in Government ministers, business leaders,
international investors, academics and environmental organisations from across
the globe.
The need for
direct action to deliver the environmental, economic and social benefits for
Africa, and particularly its coastal nations given 90 per cent of Africa’s
trade is conducted by sea, was stressed during the two days of insight.
Speakers at
ABEF2019 agreed on the urgent need for better cooperation between the ocean
stakeholders, better governance and law enforcement.
national and local strategies are required to build a long-term plan and
develop partnerships that are beyond short-term projects. Engaging with new
technologies and innovative financing mechanisms are also key to shaping a
sustainable Blue Economy in Africa.
Leila Ben
Hassen, ABEF founder and CEO of Blue Jay Communication, which organised the
forum, said: “We can no longer just dip our toe in the water, we must dive in
and be decisive in making and delivering change that will serve Africa for many
years to come. It is no longer business as usual. Africa must have a
sustainable Blue Business plan which will have a positive impact on the
environment, on the economy and on society.”
sustainable Blue Business plan will accelerate Africa’s transformation, create
jobs, sustain livelihoods and empower communities, while offering impactful
climate change measures.
This was
acknowledged at ABEF2019 across a range of panels with topics that explored how
governments and private sectors can collaborate; tackling ocean pollution;
innovative funding solutions; enhanced food security and sustainable growth for
the fishing industry; sustainable ocean energy; how to engage more women to
work in the maritime value chains and the opportunities to embrace the youth
generation in the Blue Economy.
Key outcomes
from ABEF2019 saw the World Ocean Council, Tunisian Maritime Cluster and SETAP
Tunisia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a platform to connect,
share information, scientific research and technologies between the
Mediterranean and the coastal African countries.
 In addition, WIMA Africa (Women in Maritime
Association) launched the Tunisia Chapter with the objective of empowering
women and reinforcing collaborations between Tunisian and African women in the
maritime industry.
The event
attracted a significant number of high-level speakers, who can drive change and
opinions, including government ministers HE Samir Taieb, Minister of
Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries, Republic of Tunisia; HE Mokhtar
Hammami, Minister of Environment, Republic of Tunisia; HE Elizabeth Naa Afoley
Quaye, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Republic of Ghana and HE Kwaku
Ofori Asiamah, Minister of Transport, Republic of Ghana.

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