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Africa’s New Frontier: The Blue Economy

Coastal fishers in Mozambique. Photo: Stig Nygaard, CCL
Coastal fishers in Mozambique. Photo: Stig Nygaard, CCL
Panel on Coastal African Countries
Panel on Coastal African Countries

African Ministers, World Bank and Partners Meet in Mauritius to Catalyze Investments for the Ocean Economy

About one third (31%) of West Africa’s population lives on the coast, where the oceans are drivers for growth and prosperity. They provide jobs, food security and remain an important source of leisure and spiritual value. Yet, oceans —a tremendous resource for Africa when used in a sustainable way— are currently under threat. One of the biggest challenges to coastal and marine systems is climate change, which is already affecting many countries in Africa especially the poor.

Building sustainable climate-smart ocean economies to sustain the livelihoods of millions of people to the Blue Economy is a key priority for African governments. At the same time, it remains a challenging new area with needs for capacity, technology and innovation, finance, knowledge and lasting transformational partnerships.

To that end, the World Bank Group, in collaboration with the Republic of Mauritius, is organizing the African Ministerial Conference on Ocean Economies and Climate Change, on September 1 – 3, 2016. The conference brings together African countries, development partners, the private sector, scientists, thought leaders, civil society, academia, media and communities whose everyday lives depend on healthy oceans.

The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) supports together with the World Bank a number of initiatives supporting the Blue Economy in Africa. Aage Jørgensen, NDF Country Program Manager, participated in a panel on financing where he presented some of the NDF financed activities in Tanzania and Mozambique. He stressed the importance of public-private-partnerships and financing initiatives that are scalable and may be replicated.

The conference will create a platform for engagement about what it takes to harness the full potential of the blue economy in a changing climate, and is expected to help participants strategize priorities regarding the ocean economy, based on potential benefits, technical and economic feasibility, and environmental sustainability.

The outcomes of the conference will feed into future events on oceans and climate change, including those such as at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016. 

More information

African Ministerial Conference on Ocean Economies and Climate Change

Impacts of Climate Change on Coastal Areas [NDF C29]

Fisheries and Climate Change Project [NDF C50]

Aquaculture and Climate Change [NDF C72]

West Africa Coastal Area Erosion and Adaptation [NDF C77]