Fishing, 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. Regional, 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.”
A 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.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF).
The Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF) (www.ABEF2019.com) is an annual event organized by Blue Jay Communication.
ABEF is thinking about accelerating 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 SDG 14 and to present new investment opportunities in both traditional and emerging ocean industries, while making public-private partnerships and networking easier.
About Blue Jay Communication:
Founded by publishing and media expert Leila Ben Hassen, Blue Jay Communication (BJC) (www.BlueJayCommunication.com) is a global communications, branding, PR and events consultancy specializing in Africa.
BJC's mission is to enhance its customers' brands, make connections and develop their business and investment opportunities. By doing so, its ambition is to contribute to job creation while reducing gender and sustainable growth in Africa.
From left to right: Henry Bonsu, Journalist and broadcaster; Torsten Thiele, Founder and Managing Partner, The Global Ocean Trust; Angelique Pouponneau, CEO, Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT); James Maton, Partner, Cooley LLP; Marc Naidoo, Sustainable Finance Secondee, Standard Chartered Bank; Dr Frannie Léautier, Chief Operating Officer, Trade and Development Bank (TDB)