African maritime experts are targeting a bigger role for the continent’s sea ports in the emerging global blue economy.
This new move is the brainchild of the African Natural Resources Center in collaboration with the Infrastructure and Urban Development Department of the African Development Bank Group.
Participants at the meeting—including representatives of the African Development Bank, the African Union Development Agency, governments, and regional bodies—agreed on the pressing need to develop national strategies to harness the blue economy.
There was also consensus that ports, as a locus of many blue economy activities, should be an integral part of such a strategy.
“There are a lot of opportunities to strengthen business networks through a blue economy, and ports play a key role in that. While there is a rapid movement to develop a framework around the blue economy, there is a need to see it implemented practically on the ground.”Bernice McLean of the African Union Development Agency
The African Development Bank plays a key role in developing African ports, including financing the construction of a container terminal at Walvis Bay port in Namibia.
The investment paved the way for Walvis Bay to become a logistics hub for landlocked southern African countries.
The African Union is already working on a pan-African Blue Economy Strategy, which will play a key role in creating an inclusive continental implementation.
The African Natural Resources Centre generates high-quality knowledge and engages in policy dialogue.
It also provides technical support to regional member countries on natural resources planning, investment, and governance, with a focus on land, forestry, fisheries, water, oil, gas, and minerals.