African Businesses Once Again Encouraged to Invest in $1 Trillion-a-Year Maritime Industry

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African businesses have once again been urged to capitalize on the continents $1 trillion-a-year maritime industry, otherwise known as the ‘Blue Economy’.

As such, stakeholders have been invited to the Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF), an annual event set to be held in Tunisia and organized by Berlin-based utility contractor, Blue Jay Communication. The affair comes to Tunis, the country’s capital city, on June 25th.

ABEF is committed to accelerate Africa’s structural transformation and creating jobs for a young population on the rise. It provides a unique platform for ocean stakeholders to share insights on how to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 and to present new investment opportunities in both traditional and emerging ocean industries, while making public-private partnerships and networking easier.

In light of this, African businesses are being challenged to wake up to the economic, social and environmental power of the Blue Economy.

Momentum is gathering for companies based in Africa’s coastal nations to fully recognise and understand the benefits of backing a Blue Economy, which covers a wide range of productive sectors that are crucial for the continent’s sustainable development, including fisheries, aquaculture, transport, energy, trade and tourism as well as extractive industries.

Research indicates that the Blue Economy has the potential to be a major source of wealth and prosperity for the continent and help advance the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

This year’s ABEF2019 builds on the inaugural event in London last year which explored what the Blue Economy was. This year’s forum aims to take it a stage further and explore how business and government can implement actions that will proactively boost the economic, social and environmental welfare of the continent.

ABEF believes the importance of a cohesive strategy that will protect and utilise Africa’s coastal waters cannot be overstated given that 70% of Africa’s nations are coastal and 90% of the continent’s imports and exports are done via sea transportation.

Africa’s maritime industry is estimated to be worth $1 trillion per year while the asset value of ocean economy eco-systems is valued at $24 trillion.

Meanwhile, plastic pollution costs $13 billion per year due to damage caused to marine ecosystems.

ABEF2019 will deliver a strong focus on business and government collaboration, highlight investment opportunities and reveal environmental and social impact.

Discussions will explore the opportunities and innovations in emerging and frontier sectors of the blue economy and how they can help accelerate Africa’s transformation, create jobs, sustain livelihoods and communities and offer low cost but impactful climate change measures.

Government ministers and officials from Gabon, Ghana, Morocco, Somaliland, Tunisia and Seychelles already confirmed speakers whilst more official delegations from other African countries are also expected to be present. They will be joined on the platform by business leaders, international investors, ocean innovators and environmental organisations from across the globe, who will share the importance of the Blue Economy in advancing Africa’s development agenda.

“There needs to be more awareness of the Blue Economy and a realisation of how important it is to the future of Africa. Governments are beginning to understand this and beginning to implement policies but it still needs the private sector to grasp this and to look at how they can work in partnership with governments and other organisations to make this succeed,” explained Leila Ben Hassen, Organiser and Founder of ABEF2019.

“Collaboration is necessary to make this work and deliver huge benefits for the continent enabling it meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. ABEF2019 will begin to lay the foundations for this collaboration process,” she concluded.

 

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