Dr. Patrick Karani represented AU-IBAR at IGAD's three-day Training on Coordination Mechanisms, Policy Instruments/Enabling Environments for Blue Economy (BE) Governance and to Integrate Blue Economy into National Development Plans in IGAD Member States. The conference was held on November 28-30, 2022, in Addis Ababa.
The Ministries of Environment, Transport and Logistics, Fisheries, Marine Resources, Livestock, Finance and Planning, Water and Environment, and Blue Economy from IGAD Member States were also represented.
The purpose of the training was to: (i) share lessons to propose national BE coordination mechanisms in the draught national BE strategy for each IGAD Member State; (ii) assess an enabling tool (financing, capacity, partnerships, and innovations) and management component that establishes and oversees the tools and mechanisms needed to manage; (iii) coordinate and implement BE strategies and interventions; and (iv) provide training to integrate BE in the national development plans.
On Day 1, Dr. Eshete Dejen of the IGAD Agriculture and Environment Division remarked on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, stating that the new IGAD Regional Corporate Strategy 2021-2025 accurately reflects IGAD's main priorities of the Blue Economy and Biodiversity. The meeting was reassured of IGAD's commitment to maximising the Blue Economy's potential for fostering economic and social development in the region.
In his role as CEO of the Maritime Administration at the Maritime Authority of Ethiopia, Captain Getenet Abay praised IGAD's unwavering support. The importance of establishing suitable institutional arrangements for planning, coordinating, and overseeing the implementation of national blue economy strategies, as well as reviewing and monitoring their progress and achievements, was emphasised in addition to providing assistance with the development of such strategies. It was also mentioned that updating institutional architectures, governance models, and regulatory frameworks is necessary for effective blue economy cooperation.
IGAD and the Government of Sweden partnered to host this training as part of the "Enhancing Blue Economy in the IGAD Member States for Biodiversity Conservations and Livelihood Diversification" agreement.
The term "Blue Economy" (BE) refers to an approach to economic development that reconciles the needs and imperatives of economic growth with the needs and imperatives of environmental and social sustainability by bringing together key sectors operating in the ocean and inland water regions. To effectively coordinate BE, institutional structures and governance paradigms must undergo a radical overhaul. The creation of a BE policy and strategic plan is not enough; countries and regions must also put in place appropriate institutional mechanisms for the development, coordination, and oversight of said plans and strategies, as well as for the assessment and monitoring of said progress and successes.
The African Union – Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is executing a three-year project titled "Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity in the African Blue Economy" with funding support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) (October 2021 - 2024). The project "Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity in the Context of the Africa Blue Economy" establishes an action plan to "Enhance institutional capacity of African Union Member States and Regional Economic Communities on the utilization, conservation, and protection of aquatic biodiversity within the context of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy."
See news coverage from Ethiopia News Agency for the news aired on 28 November 2022:
Read more on the Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity Project in the Africa Blue Economy
Picture: @University of Cape Coast