VILANCULOS, Mozambique, December 1, 2021 / Grupo APO / –
African leaders and policy makers have called for strategies to harness the potential of the blue economy to achieve sustainable development. The call came at a high-level conference organized by the Government of Mozambique on November 18 and 19 in the city of Vilanculos. The theme was Investing in the health of the oceans to ensure the future of the planet.
Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi hosted the event, which was attended by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, ministers from other countries and African political leaders. African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina delivered a virtual message during the opening ceremony, highlighting the potential of blue economy initiatives. “The continent has maritime zones that extend for 13 million square kilometers, encompassing territorial seas and continental shelves that also extend up to 6.5 million kilometers. And 38 African countries are coastal, ”he said.
Adesina said there was an urgent need to reactivate the livelihoods of fishing communities. “This can be achieved if governments and the private sector prioritize enabling policies and provide access to modern fishing fleets, cold storage and processing facilities, and invest in climate advisory services and infrastructure to support climate fishing practices. smart ”.
Leïla Mokaddem, Managing Director of the Bank’s Southern Africa Region, represented President Adesina in person at the event. He said the Bank will continue to help Mozambique unlock its blue economy potential in the post-pandemic era by supporting regional approaches to coastal resilience and transboundary fisheries management in the Mozambique Channel and the Indian Ocean region through the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community.
Mozambique has the third longest coastline in Africa, with huge coastal resources that contribute significantly to the economy, including marine parks that provide social and economic benefits to about half of the population.
Mokaddem, who led the African Development Bank delegation at the conference, said the Bank was also co-financing one of the largest private sector investments, worth more than $ 5 billion, in regional infrastructure development, through of the construction of a rail corridor and deep waters. Nacala port to facilitate maritime trade and market access.
The Bank team, which included Cesar Augusto Mba Abogo, Country Manager for Mozambique, reinforced the Bank’s commitment to building resilience to climate disasters in Mozambique, one of the 10 countries in the world most vulnerable to climate change. In this area, Mokaddem held bilateral meetings with the Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Augusta Maita, to discuss strategic cooperation to develop the blue economy.
The Minister of Economy and Finance of Mozambique, Adriano Maleiane, recognized the Bank’s role in Mozambique: “The African Development Bank is one of Mozambique’s main strategic partners in the development of infrastructure projects and in the context of the development of initiatives. of blue economy “.
The Minister organized a high-level dialogue with Mokaddem and Bank staff on development projects in northern Mozambique, the transformation of the agricultural sector, the 20-year economic development strategy review process, and macroeconomic stability issues. Mokaddem also met with women entrepreneurs to discuss their challenges and opportunities, and how to generate an economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
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