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Blue Economy: The New Frontier for Africa’s Growth & How Japan Can Help

Blue Economy: The New Frontier for Africa's Growth & How Japan Can Help
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An interview with Siddharth Chatterjee UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya by Nikkei Shimbun, Japan and reproduced by IPS.

From Left to Proper: Ambassador Masahiko Kiya, the Ambassador for TICAD 7,MOFA Japan, Ambassador Soloman Maina, Kenya’s ambassador to Japan and Siddharth Chatterjee, United Nations Resident Coordinator to Kenya. Credit score: Kenya Embassy 10 January 2019

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb eight 2019 (IPS) – 1. Why Blue Financial system in Africa? What potentials does Africa have?

The blue financial system in Africa is uncared for, ignored or underexploited, however it may well supply a variety of African options to African economic issues. Multiple-quarter of Africa’s inhabitants lives within 100km of the coast and derive their livelihoods there. In line with the Worldwide Power Company (IEA), by 2020, the annual economic value of power actions related to maritime affairs will attain EUR 2.5bn.1 Out of the 54 African nations, 34 are coastal nations and over 90% of African exports and imports are transported by sea. The territorial waters underneath African jurisdiction cowl a surface area of 13 million km², with a continental shelf of some 6.5 million km² comprising unique financial zones (EEZ). The continent covers 17% of the world’s surface water assets. The strategic dimension of the blue financial system is an indeniable reality for African nations. It’s for this cause that it has been included in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and that a sensible handbook on the blue financial system was prepared by the United Nations Financial Fee for Africa in March 2016.

In accordance with an FAO research, the entire gross added value of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Africa is estimated at USD 24bn, i.e. 1.6% of the GDP of all African nations.2 Still in line with FAO, this sector employs some 12.3 million individuals, however is essentially underexploited. There is a have to professionalize the aquaculture and fisheries sector.

By any standards, Africa is at the least underusing, probably even drastically losing, its blue financial system potential. This have to be rectified. By some estimates, the African maritime business is already value USD 1 trillion yearly. However, with the correct economic insurance policies carried out, it might triple in just two years.

2. Why is Japan needed? What advantage does Japan should be a companion nation?

Japan is actually a Blue financial system and a worldwide financial big. Africa can study and benefit from Japan. Let me begin by commending Japan for co-hosting the Blue Financial system Conference with Kenya and Canada in Nairobi in 2018.

If the continent is to determine a viable blue financial system, African nations should start with concentrate on the present restricted infrastructure and capacities to guarantee maritime safety and coastal protection. The second imperative is to determine partnerships, including revolutionary financing models, preferably driven by the personal sector.

Kenya co-hosted the Sustainable Blue Financial system Conference (SBEC) between the 26th and 28th November 2018 with Canada and Japan.three SBEC aimed to make progress in the direction of safeguarding and creating the world’s water our bodies and the ecosystems that reside therein. The conference hosted over 17,000 members from 184 nations and sought to take advantage of the potential of oceans, seas, rivers, lakes by leveraging on the newest scientific information and innovation while making certain the right conservation of the aquatic assets for generations to return. Through the convention, President of Kenya Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta made several pledges including enhancing safety in the excessive seas, combating illegal fishing while supporting sustainable and responsible fishing of endangered species and key fish shares, amongst different issues.

Japan’s help to the Blue financial system will make sure that the Blue/ocean financial system, will probably be “a major contributor to continental transformation and growth” as envisaged in the Agenda 2063, Furthermore the sector will profit from Japanese experience in maritime security and safety. Japan has confirmed experience and demonstrated real contributions in making certain freedom and safety of navigation, as witnessed by Japanese contributions to enhancing navigation security in the Straits of Malacca.

I truly see Kenya as a gateway to Africa. Kenya has the ports. It has the infrastructure. It is interconnected. It’s a beacon of hope in a region of instability. The truth is it represents the whole lot that we need to see occur all throughout Africa. And subsequently to me Kenya turns into even more crucial in turning into the convener and the facilitator of the complete Blue Financial system dialogue.

We because the UN family stand ready to help Japan in advancing a sustainable Blue Financial system in Kenya.

3. What opportunities does Japanese corporations have? How should Japan be concerned in creating Blue Financial system?

There five areas the place Japan’s ocean business expertise might be shared to advertise the blue financial system within the Africa area.four

    i. Most African states are wanting seaward for various non-conventional renewable sources of power. There’s curiosity in offshore solar energy as having excessive potential as a serious source of power. Japan personal sector may also help right here. Japan’s largest solar power plant, the Kyocera Corporation’s Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Photo voltaic Energy Plant, is an offshore know-how built on reclaimed land jutting the waters of Kagoshima Bay, generating 70 MW of power in Kagoshima City. The venture has an annual power era capacity of 78,800MWh and is predicted to provide clear electricity to approximately 22,000 average households.

    ii. Whereas there’s been no business developments so far there’s nonetheless worldwide interest in deep-sea mining within the Indian Ocean. For polymetallic nodules, Japan is a pioneer investor within the Indian Ocean and the International Seabed Authority entered into contract with Japan after the Regulation of the Sea Convention got here into effect. Japan will help with mining know-how, processing know-how and environmental impression assessment. There’s additionally growing curiosity in developments in relation to deep water fuel hydrates power reserves (reservoirs of fuel trapped in ice crystals) where Japan is on the leading edge. India and Japan final yr carried out a joint survey for fuel hydrates using a Japanese drilling ship in the Indian Ocean. Japan has set itself the target of bringing methane hydrates into the mainstream by the early 2020s. Prime Minister Modi has listed work on fuel hydrates among the many prime 10 potential areas of research for India.

    iii. R&D in marine biotechnology is emerging as a promising sector for progress and employment in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean region is rich in marine biodiversity: we’re more likely to see the realisation of marine biotechnology potential, together with the culture of a variety of marine organisms for biofuels, bioremediation and bioproducts.

    iv. Aquaculture is a key driver of the Blue Financial system within the Indian Ocean offering food, vitamin and employment alternatives to the individuals in the region. Since capture fisheries face the problem of overfishing in the area, the challenges of meals security could be addressed by means of aquaculture production. Aquaculture has the potential to rework the worldwide food system for the better. Japan has large expertise in this business and may help African states in creating aquaculture techniques that broaden the vary of meals and the nutritional content of these foods, whereas making certain that the business is economically and environmentally sustainable.

    v. Japan can strengthen the digital blue financial system within the Indian Ocean: the undersea cables and the digital providers that they will allow, similar to broadband and knowledge change. Japan can contribute to the rising digital material connecting the Indian Ocean: it’s acquired some of world’s prime distributors of submarine cable methods.

4. What do you anticipate for TICAD 7? Might you inform us on what you’re working with Japanese government for the convention?

UNDP is the longest serving co-organizer of TICAD course of with the Authorities of Japan. Co-organizing TICAD course of offers Japan and UNDP with necessary strategic benefits, including: (1) facilitating international discourse on Africa’s improvement; (2) promoting revolutionary partnerships; (3) Enhancing integration of the UN Improvement System; and (4) Enhancing strategic partnerships with Japan in Africa as the key driver of the company strategic partnership with Japan.

Along with the issues raised above, we anticipate TICAD 7 to advertise Africa’s blue/ocean financial system to reinforce sustainable use of marine assets, creating port amenities and facilitating marine transport. Furthermore we anticipate the difficulty of Africa’s infrastructure and connectivity to be high on the TICAD 7 Agenda as this can unlock the development and management of high quality transport infrastructure, resembling ports, maritime corridors, airports, railroads, bridges and trunk roads which might be environment friendly in view of life-cycle value, dependable, protected, resilient towards natural disasters and environmentally friendly, to strengthen connectivity in Africa, utilizing state-of-the-art infrastructure know-how.

5. What challenges does Africa should develop Blue Financial system? What infrastructures/rules/policies are needed?

From considerations around environmental sustainability to the risks of corruption and a dearth of actionable knowledge, policymakers want huge assets to familiarize yourself with giant swathes of their very own territory.

There are also challenges related to local weather change, rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification and rising sea ranges.

There are current conflicts driven by lack of demarcation of maritime and aquatic boundaries. This has been a continuing supply of tensions between neighbouring nations, not only threating any long-term investment issues, but in addition resulting in irresponsible use of assets.

The continent needs to fast-track resolution of disputes and strengthen their maritime and riparian cooperation mechanisms. This can provide grounds for working on interstate economies of scale and develop methods for bridging technical and infrastructure gaps amongst States.

Consistent with SDG 14, improvement of this sector should also promote social inclusion while making certain environmental sustainability. In this respect, the continent owes particular consideration to individuals dwelling alongside the shores of oceans, lakes and rivers, primarily youth and ladies. The question of how this new frontier can handle poverty discount and starvation when leaving nobody behind have to be a central consideration. We’d like to be able to govern assets successfully and have the ability to utilise them in a means that’s transparent and inclusive.

Equally daunting is required transboundary negotiation among at the very least 38 African nations, intensive planning, intersectoral planning, intragovernmental coordination, in depth training and sophisticated multi-stakeholder engagement.

The African Union has launched its 2050 Integrated Maritime Strategy in a bid to offer a broad framework for the safety and sustainable exploitation of Africa’s marine assets. At its heart lies the creation of a Mixed Exclusive Maritime Zone of Africa (CEMZA), a standard maritime area meant to boost commerce, shield the setting and fisheries, share info and increase border protection and defence activities.

1 See Power Know-how Perspectives 2012, Pathways to a Clean Power System, obtainable at
2 See FAO, (2014). The Worth of African Fisheries, obtainable at
3 Japan joined Canada and Kenya in co-hosting SBEC and offered KEN Sh300 million funding for the convention;
4 See Anthony Bergin (2016). A imaginative and prescient in blue: Japan and the Indian Ocean, obtainable at


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