Economic model developed by Belgian industrialist Günter Pauli, working for solutions zero pollution However, the blue economy is a perfectly adequate concept for the African continent because it involves building its economy around the ocean. Thus, to be inspired by nature and to adopt the foundations of the circular economy for an economy that respects its environment: Africa has the potential.
In contrast to red, the symbol of industry and green of sustainable development, the blue economy is the color that best represents our environment: the sky, the oceans are blue and our Planet, seen from space, is just as blue. The concept seems so obvious that the African Union has placed these potentials in its “Agenda 2063” for a prosperous Africa.
Because let us remember, Africa is 38 countries with a sea front or access to the sea, 13 million km2 of territorial waters under the jurisdiction of African states, and a huge fisheries economy. Africa must and can put its strengths to work in this new context.
The Seychelles, considered pioneers of this economy, co-organized the Blue Economy Summit in Abu Dhabi in January 2016. Under the theme “an ocean, a future“, Seychelles reaffirmed its commitment to integrating the principles of a zero-waste economy into its development plan.
An archipelago of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is an economic and commercial zone covering 1.3 million square kilometers. An economy dependent on tourism and fishing: 2 sectors subject to ocean resources and related maritime activities. Hence the need for a plan to frame the development of maritime energy, modernize facilities for better port management, enhance the transport service by involving local populations and the creation of fishing enterprises. This will help promote eco-tourism…
This strategy is being emulated since blue carbon projects are springing up all over the continent. Notably in Kenya, Togo, Senegal, Madagascar or South Africa…
The latter has set up a project called “Phakisa” (Sesotho for “pressing the pace”) to increase the economic potential coming from the ocean. Launched in June 2014 as a framework for leveraging the blue economy, 4 priority sectors have been identified as new growth areas:
An initiative that will increase the economic potential of the ocean over time. An ocean also sought by Madagascar whose president affirmed his desire to convert the country to the blue economy. It is convinced that it will boost the island’s economy through its national resources, such as fishing, maritime navigation, ecotourism and sustainable energy. Around its 5,500 kilometers of coastline, the island state benefits from a unique range of coastal and marine natural resources.
A possible route to healthy development in Africa, the blue economy is attracting growing interest. It is at the heart of debates on the economic future and its challenges to the point of talking about blue gold. For good reason, the concept encourages social entrepreneurship, facilitates the restriction of losses and emissions of carbon, favors low-cost production, thus promoting sustainable employment and growth. The blue economy is mainly realized through aquaculture, mariculture, port activities, coastal ecotourism, marine bioproducts or biotechnology.
But before reaping all the benefits, changes are to be expected, such as putting an end to illegal fishing, especially in West Africa: real industrial destruction of the African blue economy.
To go further: The ECA handbook published in March 2016.