Applying Blue Economy Principles in Africa

“The coasts, the oceans and the adjacent rivers are among our most treasured resources in any coastal nations. They constitute an important component of the socio economic development process and are an asset for the people well-being.

Unfortunately the marine and coastal ecosystems of Africa are facing severe degradation and are sometime used as dumpsites when waste waters are dumped into the ocean with no previous treatment in most of the African coastal cities.

This seriously undermines the socio-economic potential of our coasts and oceans and jeopardizes the functions and benefits that African countries can general from the sustainable exploitation of her marine and coastal resources.

Luckily enough, the current situation is not a lost cause and the blue economy – which offers an innovative approach to conserving the oceans, while reaping their benefits in a more equitable and sustainable way – can offer an alternative to the current fragmented governance of the oceans in Africa.

According to UNEP, as a marine analogue to the Green Economy, the Blue Economy approach is based on a vision of “improved well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities”

I am among those who strongly believe that the Blue Economy principles if successfully implemented can unlock the economic potential of Africa through proper management of fisheries, shipping ports, coastal-based tourism, aquaculture/sea farming, coastal urban planning, improved coastal resiliency, sustainable energy, etc.

By Sie Palé à Doropo

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