The 24th session of the inter-governmental committee of experts of Southern Africa kicked off at Le Meridien Hotel today. Delegates from all over Africa will spend the next four days discussing how they can improve their collaboration with regards to the blue economy. The blue economy remains a relatively unexplored area of financial development for most African nations. This week’s conference in Mauritius, which is organised by the United Nations’ Economic Commission of Africa’s Southern Africa Office (UNECA-SRO-SA) aims to improve the status quo.
In his opening address, Pr. Said Adejumobi, director of UNECA, said that Africa’s coastal sector remains largely underdeveloped, under-utilised and poorly governed. The situation he said, has enabled forces from outside the continent to benefit from the continent’s marine resources, while Africa has been denied a profitable piece of the pie.
Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, the minister of foreign affairs, spoke about the need to develop the blue economy in an environmentally responsible way. Developing the ocean economy without first acknowledging that the ocean is heavily affected by pollution and poor waste management strategies would be counterproductive and unsustainable in the long run, he emphasised.
The UNECA-SRO-SA conference is being given extensive media coverage from international media organisations all over Africa.
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