Ministers from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Member States whose dockets include the Blue Economy sectors endorsed the IGAD Blue Economy Strategy (2021-2025) on April 1, 2022 in Addis Abeba.
The IGAD Blue Economy Strategy and its Implementation Plan intends to structure the Blue Economy implementation at both national and regional levels while increasing cooperation and regional integration, and strengthening support to the member states to effectively translate policies into concrete actions.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, IGAD Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD) underscored the urgent need of harnessing the Blue Economy sectors given their importance as a driving force of regional integration.
He highlighted four areas of great potential that should be tapped: food security, maritime industry, extractive and non-renewable resources, and sustainable tourism.
“The adoption of this basket will constitute a regional blueprint to guide our individual Member States in formulating National Blue Economy Strategies”, he added.
In her remarks, the Minister of Transport and Logistics of Ethiopia Dagmawit Moges, acknowledged “the need to seize opportunities for growth and decent jobs creation in the blue economy by promoting research, technology transfer and industrial partnerships across the region, public-privet partnership and facilitating networking amongst member states”.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Sudan, Gibreil Ibrahim Mohamed (PhD) in his capacity as Chair of the meeting concluded his opening remarks by renewing his “gratitude and appreciation to all the member states of IGAD, IGAD Secretariat, and regional and international partners for their valuable contribution” that enabled the adoption of the regional strategy on blue economy.
The ministerial level meeting of April 1 was preceded by a two-day High Level Experts meeting that reviewed the strategy for the endorsement by the Ministers.
The support for the strategy was provided by the government of Sweden through a grant for a Project titled “Enhancing Blue Economy in the IGAD Coastal Member States for Biodiversity Conservation and Livelihood Diversification”, with the objective of promoting Sustainable Blue Economy development and protection of biodiversity.
IGAD developed a 5-year Blue Economy strategy (2021-2025) and Implementation Plan (BESIP) aligned with Africa’s Blue Economy strategy with the financial support of the European Union.