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Africa’s blue economy on the crest of a wave

Experts from African universities recently met at the University of Seychelles (UniSey) to discuss the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and blue economic strategy and to meet members of UniSey‘s James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute (Beri).

Professor Raphael Mpofu, CEMS Deputy Executive Dean, led the delegation that included representatives from Unisa, as well as delegates from Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, and Tanzania.

The visit forms part of the implementation of a memorandum of understanding that Unisa and the African Union Commission signed in 2014 to assist the commission in research capacity building and capacity development initiatives as part of the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063.

The discussions centred on matters relating to economic development driven by a blue ocean economy initiative in line with the AU Agenda 2063 and how cooperation with UniSey could be strengthened.

The director of Beri, Kelly Hoareau, said the meeting was also linked to the 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 Aim Strategy).

Prof. Raphael Mpofu (Deputy ED: CEMS)

“We would like to strengthen collaboration with African countries and also identify opportunities for specific research types of research project that will help us prioritise in terms of our development of the blue economy,” she said.

According to Mpofu, the aim of the visit was to set up a viable and strong research-focused initiative in Seychelles on the blue ocean economy. “This should lead to visible change in the way we manage our oceans, as well as agricultural development, fisheries and everything that has to do with the blue economy.

“We want to share our research findings with policy makers who can then help us to implement policies,” he said. He also expressed the hope that the initiative would lead to collaboration to set up incubators for businesses, especially for women and the youth.

*By Ilse Crous