Let’s learn from blue economy talks

Global players are trooping to Nairobi to discuss the blue economy, an emerging concept that encourages better stewardship of water resources. This week, more than 4,000 participants including six heads of states, will share their thoughts before the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in, Nairobi, co-hosted by Kenya, Canada and Japan. Among the attendants will be 400 scientific and academic professionals, who will deliberate on climate action resilience, global connectivity and transportation, the economy and sustainable cities. For Kenya, the global meeting will be a major point of reference as the government seeks to harnesses the potential of every sector, marine and fisheries included, towards realisation of the Big Four agenda.

Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the Coast Guard Service to enforce law and order in Kenya’s territorial waters. Kenya has a coastline of 1,400km and a 350 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone as well as two of Africa’s largest lakes, Turkana and Victoria.

Despite these vast water resources, the fishing industry contributes a paltry 0.54 per cent of the country’s GDP. We hope the momentum of hosting the global event will help the country take seriously the blue economy, now a key pillar of the global economy. It is time to get rid of systems that have failed. The talks should prompt us into taking every steps towards ensuring full exploitation of resources. Today, the hyacinth in Lake Victoria continues threatening livelihoods of an estimated 22 million in the basin. Conservation efforts must be supported by stakeholders.   

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Blue EconomySustainable Blue Economy ConferencePresident Uhuru KenyattaExclusive Economic Zone