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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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Opinion

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 might supply a variety of African options to African financial issues. Multiple-quarter of Africa’s inhabitants lives inside 100km of the coast and derive their livelihoods there. In line with the Worldwide Power Company (IEA), by 2020, the annual financial worth of power actions associated 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 beneath African jurisdiction cowl a floor space 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 floor water assets. The strategic dimension of the blue financial system is an indeniable actuality for African nations. It is because of this that it has been included within the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and that a sensible handbook on the blue financial system was ready by the United Nations Financial Fee for Africa in March 2016.

In accordance with an FAO research, the full gross added worth 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 Nonetheless in accordance with FAO, this sector employs some 12.three million individuals, however is essentially underexploited. There’s a have to professionalize the aquaculture and fisheries sector.

By any requirements, Africa is at the very 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 suitable financial insurance policies carried out, it might triple in simply two years.

2. Why is Japan wanted? What benefit does Japan need to be a associate nation?

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

If the continent is to determine a viable blue financial system, African nations should start with give attention to the present restricted infrastructure and capacities to guarantee maritime safety and coastal safety. The second crucial is to determine partnerships, together with revolutionary financing fashions, ideally pushed by the personal sector.

Kenya co-hosted the Sustainable Blue Financial system Convention (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 convention hosted over 17,000 individuals 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 whereas making certain the right conservation of the aquatic assets for generations to return. Through the convention, President of Kenya Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta made a number of pledges together with enhancing safety within the excessive seas, combating unlawful fishing whereas supporting sustainable and accountable fishing of endangered species and key fish shares, amongst different issues.

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

I truly see Kenya as a gateway to Africa. Kenya has the ports. It has the infrastructure. It’s interconnected. It’s a beacon of hope in a area of instability. In reality it represents every part that we need to see occur all throughout Africa. And subsequently to me Kenya turns into much more essential in turning into the convener and the facilitator of the whole Blue Financial system dialogue.

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

three. What alternatives does Japanese corporations have? How ought to Japan be concerned in creating Blue Financial system?

There 5 areas the place Japan’s ocean business experience 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 supply of power. Japan personal sector will help right here. Japan’s largest solar energy plant, the Kyocera Company’s Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Photo voltaic Energy Plant, is an offshore know-how constructed on reclaimed land jutting the waters of Kagoshima Bay, producing 70 MW of power in Kagoshima Metropolis. The challenge has an annual energy era capability of 78,800MWh and is predicted to provide clear electrical energy to roughly 22,000 common households.

    ii. Whereas there’s been no business developments so far there’s nonetheless worldwide curiosity in deep-sea mining within the Indian Ocean. For polymetallic nodules, Japan is a pioneer investor within the Indian Ocean and the Worldwide Seabed Authority entered into contract with Japan after the Regulation of the Sea Conference got here into impact. Japan might help with mining know-how, processing know-how and environmental impression evaluation. There’s additionally rising curiosity in developments in relation to deep water fuel hydrates power reserves (reservoirs of fuel trapped in ice crystals) the place Japan is on the leading edge. India and Japan final yr carried out a joint survey for fuel hydrates utilizing a Japanese drilling ship within the Indian Ocean. Japan has set itself the goal 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 analysis for India.

    iii. R&D in marine biotechnology is rising as a promising sector for progress and employment within the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean area is wealthy in marine biodiversity: we’re more likely to see the realisation of marine biotechnology potential, together with the tradition 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 meals, vitamin and employment alternatives to the individuals within the area. Since seize fisheries face the issue of overfishing within the area, the challenges of meals safety might be addressed by means of aquaculture manufacturing. Aquaculture has the potential to rework the worldwide meals system for the higher. Japan has super expertise on this business and may help African states in creating aquaculture techniques that broaden the vary of meals and the dietary content material of these meals, 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, akin to broadband and knowledge trade. Japan can contribute to the rising digital material connecting the Indian Ocean: it’s acquired a few of world’s prime distributors of submarine cable methods.

four. What do you anticipate for TICAD 7? Might you inform us on what you’re working with Japanese authorities 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 essential strategic benefits, together with: (1) facilitating international discourse on Africa’s improvement; (2) selling revolutionary partnerships; (three) Enhancing integration of the UN Improvement System; and (four) Enhancing strategic partnerships with Japan in Africa as the important thing driver of the company strategic partnership with Japan.

Along with the problems 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. Moreover we anticipate the difficulty of Africa’s infrastructure and connectivity to be excessive on the TICAD 7 Agenda as it will unlock the development and administration of high quality transport infrastructure, reminiscent of ports, maritime corridors, airports, railroads, bridges and trunk roads which are environment friendly in view of life-cycle value, dependable, protected, resilient towards pure disasters and environmentally pleasant, to strengthen connectivity in Africa, using state-of-the-art infrastructure know-how.

5. What challenges does Africa should develop Blue Financial system? What infrastructures/guidelines/insurance policies are wanted?

From considerations round 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 additionally challenges associated to local weather change, rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification and rising sea ranges.

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

The continent must fast-track decision of disputes and strengthen their maritime and riparian cooperation mechanisms. It will present grounds for engaged on interstate economies of scale and develop methods for bridging technical and infrastructure gaps amongst States.

According to SDG 14, improvement of this sector should additionally promote social inclusion whereas making certain environmental sustainability. On this respect, the continent owes particular consideration to individuals dwelling alongside the shores of oceans, lakes and rivers, primarily youth and ladies. The query of how this new frontier can tackle poverty discount and starvation when leaving nobody behind have to be a central consideration. We’d like to have the ability to govern assets successfully and be capable of utilise them in a means that’s clear and inclusive.

Equally daunting is required transboundary negotiation amongst no less than 38 African nations, intensive planning, intersectoral planning, intragovernmental coordination, in depth coaching and sophisticated multi-stakeholder engagement.

The African Union has launched its 2050 Built-in Maritime Technique in a bid to offer a broad framework for the safety and sustainable exploitation of Africa’s marine assets. At its coronary heart lies the creation of a Mixed Unique Maritime Zone of Africa (CEMZA), a standard maritime area meant to spice up commerce, shield the setting and fisheries, share info and increase border safety and defence actions.

1 See Power Know-how Views 2012, Pathways to a Clear Power System, obtainable at https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/ETP2012_free.pdf
2 See FAO, (2014). The Worth of African Fisheries, obtainable at http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3917e.pdf
three Japan joined Canada and Kenya in co-hosting SBEC and offered KEN Sh300 million funding for the convention; https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001300222/japan-offers-sh300-million-for-blue-economy-conference
four See Anthony Bergin (2016). A imaginative and prescient in blue: Japan and the Indian Ocean, obtainable at https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/25444-2/

 

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