Africa Blue Economy Forum to Discuss Economic Contribution of the African Oceans

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Paul Holthus, Founding President and CEO, World Ocean Council

The Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF) 2018 has announced the final agenda and confirmed speakers for its first edition, in London on 7-8 June. The Forum will bring together government ministers, business leaders, ocean experts and environmental and maritime organisations, to discuss the economic contribution of the African oceans.

A Governments Panel will address how to bring the blue economy into mainstream national and regional development plans. Speakers include HE Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development, Kingdom of Morocco and HE Derick Ally, High Commissioner to the UK, Republic of Seychelles, whose government is already implementing a National Blue Economy Roadmap.

Founder and CEO of World Ocean Council, Paul Holthus and Imed Zammit, CEO, Institut Méditerranéen de Formation Aux Métiers Maritimes will discuss climate change and ocean governance, addressing increasing threats to the world’s oceans and appropriate governance frameworks on sustainability in Africa.

Maritime security has become a priority for most of Africa’s regional communities since the early 2000s, with threats ranging from piracy, to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. One panel discussion will focus on the issues of policy and security. Participants will include Captain Peter Hammarstedt, Chairman, Sea Shepherd Australia and Dr Kamal-Deen Ali, Executive Director, Centre for Maritime Law and Security Africa.

According to the Food and Agriculture Association (FAO) of the United Nations, employment in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors has grown faster than both the world’s population and employment in traditional agriculture. In Africa, the scope for sustainable aquaculture growth can positively impact extreme poverty, building resilient communities and fostering strong economies. At ABEF 2018, experts will discuss tapping in to these areas to boost job creation and training for African youth.

Leila Ben Hassen, founder of ABEF 2018 and CEO of the event’s organiser, Blue Jay Communication said, “This programme is designed to include as many different experts in their respective fields as possible, to drive forward the conversation and – more importantly – actions on Africa’s blue economy, to the mutual benefit of local and national communities”.

Murdoch University, Perth, Australia, is hosting its first symposium on the Blue Economy in conjunction with ABEF 2018, as part of the Third Murdoch Commission on the theme ‘Africa’s Challenges for Progress: Implementing the Africa Progress Panel recommendations’.

The symposium will bring together a number of experts from Africa and around the world to explore how to advance the implementation of the recommendations made by the Africa Progress Panel related to sustainable fisheries in Africa.

Sea News, May 15