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African Union trains journalists on Africa's Blue Economy

By Mwangi Maina | November 11th 2021

AUDA-NEPAD FishGov-2 Project Manager Dr Clement Adjorlolo presenting on the Blue Economy Strategy with a focus on fisheries governance in Africa. [Courtesy]

The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and the African Union International Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) yesterday started a four-day media training on enhancing sustainable fisheries management and aquaculture development in Africa.

Dubbed FishGov-2 project, the media workshop aims at equipping journalists with information and statistics on Africa’s Blue Economy strategy with a special focus on fisheries governance in the continent.

This training is being held at Tanzanian archipelago, Zanzibar and was officially opened by Zanzibar's trade and industrial development Principal secretary Islam Seif.

Journalists and sector players will for the better part of this week engage on how to create awareness and advance the sustainable ocean-based economy in Africa.

Africa is one of the most blessed continents in terms of potential marine and terrestrial natural resources.

However, most of these riches, especially the marine resources which contribute to the blue economy, are yet to be responsibly utilised to foster the economic transformation of a rich yet poor continent.

According to the African Union Development Agency, marine resources which include freshwater bodies and oceans can offer important economic opportunities such as fisheries, aquaculture, trade and tourism which can drastically escalate and transform Africa's future.

"Africa’s oceans, seas, lakes and rivers are a major source of wealth and livelihood to millions of people," said Clement Adjorlolo from the African Union Development Agency.

Policymakers say Africa is under-using, arguably even wasting its ocean economy potential. The blue economy will be, as agenda 2063 of the African Union describes it, ‘’a major contributor to continental transformation and growth’’.

Dr David Balikowa, senior Livestock officer from the East African Community during the opening of the workshop called upon the media to highlight the ongoing bad fishing practices that eventually lead to the degradation of ecosystems.

Implementation of the continental blue economy strategy that was developed by the African Union Development Agency in 2019 will significantly help to realise the Africa we want which is inclusive and prosperous.

The continent is endowed with a vast network of aquatic resources and extensive interconnected oceans with a lake zone covering approximately 240, 000km2, while its transboundary river basins cover approximately 64 per cent of Africa’s land area.

The total length of Africa’s coastline is some 26,000 km, making the African maritime domain extremely significant for commercial, environmental, developmental and security reasons.

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