Foreign Minister Calls on Africa to be Champions of the Blue Economy
The Minister for Foreign Affairs has commended the African Union for embracing Africa’s Blue Economy as a key area of the transformative component of Agenda 2063 and called on his African counterparts to be “champions of the Blue Economy.”
Speaking at the 26th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union today, Minister Jean-Paul Adam, also announced the creation of the Blue Economy department of the Government of Seychelles as a demonstrated commitment to developing this sector for the benefit of the Seychellois people.
“We have the opportunity to make better use of Africa’s oceanic spaces. To harness their potential for the benefit of African nations and not just distant nations that covet our fishing or mineral resources, said the Minister
“We will need enhanced research and technology development to make this a reality and this is at the heart of Agenda 2063. Seychelles stands ready to work with the AU Commission to strengthen our African networks of oceanic research and development.”
In his intervention the Minister stressed the importance of enhancing the African network of ports and maritime trade infrastructure as key to developing new industry and moving beyond the exportation of raw materials:
“Our ports must be part of our transformation from economies of extraction, to economies that are key mobilisers of value addition and enhanced wealth creation.”
In addition to being essential to diversing African economies from being predominately extraction based, the Minister added that the Seychelles Government viewed the blue economy as a critical component of building climate resilient economic growth in Africa:
“Sustainable management of our oceans can help us create wealth while also better preparing us for the risks associated with climate change- such as food security challenges and extreme weather events.”
During his working visit to Addis Ababa, Minister Adam also took the opportunity to meet with the African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and presented Seychelles’ willingness to collaborate on establishing an African maritime centre of excellence for research and innovation. Further talks as to the nature of such a centre are on going.
The Seychelles delegation, led by Minister Adam, is currently in Addis Ababa attending the 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, and includes the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Barry Faure, the Permanent Representative to the African Union, Amb. Joseph Nourrice, and the Principal Counsellor in the Seychelles Embassy in Addis Ababa, Mrs. Amanda Bernstein.
- It was announced on the 26th January that Minister Jean-Paul Adam is to be the new Minister for Finance, Trade, and the Blue Economy; the latter part being a new Government department.
- Following the Executive Council resolution passed in Malabo, Seychelles hosted the technical meeting of African islands on Agenda 2063 in December 2014 and proposed a follow up mechanism at both technical and ministerial level to mobilize the Blue Economy component of the Agenda.
- Agenda 2063: What it is: Agenda 2063 is both a Vision and an Action Plan. It is a call for action to all segments of African society to work together to build a prosperous and united Africa based on shared values and a common destiny. In their 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), while acknowledging past successes and challenges, rededicated themselves to the continent’s accelerated development and technological progress. They laid down vision and eight ideals to serve as pillars for the continent in the foreseeable future, which Agenda 2063 will translate into concrete objectives, milestones, goals, targets and actions/measures. Agenda 2063 strives to enable Africa remain focused and committed to the ideals envisaged in the context of a rapidly changing world. (http://agenda2063.au.int/en/about)