Africa's Blue Economy: A policy handbook

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ECA SRO-EA held its 19th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) on 2–5 March 2015, in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on the theme “Harnessing the Blue Economy for the development of Eastern Africa.” The meeting urged States in Africa to mainstream the Blue Economy into their national and regional development plans, where applicable

The Blue Economy in the African context covers both aquatic and marine spaces, including oceans, seas, coasts, lakes, rivers, and underground water. It encompasses a range of productive sectors, including fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, transport, shipbuilding, energy, bioprospecting, and underwater mining and related activities.

At the March 2015 meeting, States were encouraged to establish the necessary institutions and build the relevant capacities to better harness the potential represented by the Blue Economy. The meeting noted the importance of the AU’s 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AU 2050 AIMS)1 , including the Maritime Transport Charter. In order to accelerate the implementation of this strategy, as well as increase the level of understanding of other relevant international frameworks, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) or Montego Bay Convention, the meeting requested ECA SRO-EA to develop a Blue Economy Policy Handbook for Africa.

In line with the decisions of the 19th ICE, the main aim of this handbook is to provide a step-by-step guide on how to mainstream the Blue Economy into continental, subregional, and national policies, plans, laws, regulations, and practices for the development of African sustainable Blue Economy strategies. It targets African States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Seas Conventions, and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). Therefore, the Blue Economy Policy Handbook intends to raise the level of understanding of the Blue Economy concept by all relevant stakeholders, including African island, coastal, and land-locked2 States, in pursuit of structural transformation, sustainable economic growth, and enduring societal progress.

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