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(Image: By Vision)

Studies have shown that oceans, seas and lakes require more in depth attention and coordinated action to better play their role in developing African continent.

According to Antonio Pedro, Director of Economic Commission for Africa in the Eastern Africa, oceans and waters provide a substantial portion of the global population with food and livelihoods and are the means of transport for over 80% of global trade.

(Image: By Vision)
(Image: By Vision)

(Image: By Vision)

Studies have shown that oceans, seas and lakes require more in depth attention and coordinated action to better play their role in developing African continent.

According to Antonio Pedro, Director of Economic Commission for Africa in the Eastern Africa, oceans and waters provide a substantial portion of the global population with food and livelihoods and are the means of transport for over 80% of global trade.

He explains that oceans cover 72% of the surface of our planet and constitute more than 95% of the biosphere while the deep seabed provides 32% of the global supply of hydrocarbons with exploration expanding.

“The holistic approach of the concept known as blue economy, that focuses on sound utilisation of resources linked to the Oceans is emerging and vital to the development,” says Pedro. He adds that the discussion of the blue economy is an integrated method where we discuss about fisheries, shipment and maritime transport systems, energy, climate change and better livelihood.

Pedro affirms that in current interlinked global economies, what happens in coastal and island countries matters also for landlocked states. 

An intergovernmental Committee of Experts meeting to discuss how to harness the Blue Economy for Eastern Africa’s Development, organized jointly by UNECA and Government of Madagascar, is scheduled to be held in Antananarivo from 2to 5 March 2015.

Though facing multiple daunting challenges, oceans’ ecosystems and associated resources are important and strategic economy drivers in many countries. According to the 2014 Africa Progress Report, Illegal unreported and unregulated fishing costs Africa a lot. The report cites that the amount of resources that are lost in west Africa is estimated USD 1.3 billion every year and damages ecological systems and food and nutrition security too.

“I am sure that what is lost in Indian Ocean is much bigger than that”, says Max Jarrett, the Deputy Director of the Africa Progress Panel. He calls for African states to adopt and ratify policy tools that would prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal and unreported plunder of African waters.

Jarret says that discussion about blue economy should not forget also reserves that are in our rivers and lakes. “In Eastern Africa, the resources in great lakes such as Tanganyika, victoria and Kivu are huge. Aquaculture is important not only in the costal and island state but also in landlocked countries”, he says.

Source: UN

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