Africa has been described as having massive blue economy potentials which, of harnessed, will fast track economic revival.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), stated this at the Digital World Water Congress organized by the International Water Association (IWA) recently.
He said Africa’s potential in the sphere of water remains largely under-exploited, although its contribution to the inclusive development of the continent no longer needs demonstrating.
Adesina added that the blue economy is faced with challenges linked to the weakness of the political and regulatory frameworks, non-sustainable human activities such as over-fishing, pollution and coastal erosion.
The African continent can easily be a dynamic blue economy. The fishing sector alone employees twelve million people, the largest sector in the African blue economy, providing food and nutritional security to over 200 million Africans and generating added value estimated at 24 billion US dollars, which represents almost 1.26% of Africa gross domestic product.
Thirty-eight countries in the African continent are bordered by the ocean or the sea, but for 70% of them, their maritime exclusive economic zones are largely under-exploited.
The maritime zones under African jurisdiction cover some 13 Million km2 and some 6.5 km2 of continental shelf.
Six main themes guided the activities of the Congress, organized this year as a video-conference.
The participants discussed management of water services, waste water management, drinking water and its re-use, planning and operations, communication, partnership and communities, water resources and large-scale management.