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The “blue economy” is an emerging concept which advocates or promotes a better exploitation and management of Africa’s blue or maritime resources. The blue economy goes beyond just seeing our oceans as a means of economic growth. Apart from, of course, exploiting the oceans through shipping, commercial fishing, and the oil, gas, minerals and mining industries, emphasis is put on seeing exactly how the effects human activities have on the future health or productivity of those same resources can be controlled. It supports all of the United Nations’Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG14“life below water.” Just like the “green economy”, the blue economy even though a means to economic growth n benefits for nations, seeks to substantially reduce environmental and ecological risks. It wants to ensure that peoples in all levels of exploitation, like small island states, also benefit from the financial gain made from these resources.



Why the fuss about Africa’s blue economy?

Africa’s blue economy is an exceptional one. It is a multi-trillion dollars maritime industry. The 2063 agenda of the continent describes the blue economy as the next foremost contributor to transformation and growth. Sustainable exploitation of the oceans, lakes, rivers will increase countries’ earnings.

The United Nations has described Africa’s oceans as the “new frontier of the African resistance.” It is estimated that Africa’s coastline alone can be worth one trillion dollars in a year, and be worth almost three times that in just two years’ time. Note that more than half of the countries in the continent are coastal and island states. Africa has a coastline of over 47,000 km and 13 million km2 of collective Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).

The following African nations are poised for growth in this sector, namely Madagascar, Somalia, Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.


Some Fast facts

Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector and provides about 50% of fish for human consumption.

  • 350 million jobs world-wide are linked to fisheries.
    • The worldwide ocean economy is valued at around valued at around US$1.5 trillion per year.
    • Eighty per-cent of global trade by volume is carried by sea.
    • By 2025 it is estimated that 34% of crude-oil production will come from offshore fields..



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