April 29, 2023 (MOMBASA, Kenya): The consultative meeting on Somalia Blue Economy Implementation Framework and Sectoral Investment Plans was a collaborative effort between the Blue Economy Section of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Federal Republic of Somalia, the African Development Bank (AfDB). IGAD through Sweden Government financed Blue Economy project, the Federal Government of Somalia developed and launched national Blue Economy Strategy. The aim of this consultative meeting was to develop an implementation framework for the blue economy of Somalia and identify sector-specific investment plans that would support the sustainable development of the Blue Economy sectors. African Development Bank is supporting to develop an investment framework and an investment plan (policy brief) to accelerate the implementation of the Somalia National Blue Economy Strategy.
The first day of the meeting was dedicated to a consultative meeting between IGAD and AfDB team on the possible initiatives to advance Blue Economy in the IGAD region. Various representatives of Somali institutions participated in the meeting, including the Director of Blue Economy in the Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy of the Federal Government of Somalia and the IGAD Focal Point for the Blue Economy.
In his opening remarks Dr Guild Artan, Director of the IGAd Climate Prediction & Application Centre (ICPAC) welcomed the distinguished guests from the AfDB and the Somali delegations from different sectors. In his speech he thanked the Swedish Government for the financial supports they provide to IGAD to make it possible to the institution to convene this type of stakeholder engagement with its member states.
Mr Abdullahi Hassan Adan, Director of Blue Economy in the Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy of Somalia and Blue Economy Focal Person to IGAD, in his opening statements, raised the importance for the Somali coastal communities to focus on building a solid foundation for future food security, livelihoods, resilience, and national economic growth.
The proposed intervention areas identified during this consultative meeting broadly reflect the outcomes of the consultation, the participants underscored the following investment opportunities for a blue economy transformation in Somalia: Sustainable fisheries, Port infrastructures, regional integration, connectivity and transportation, Blue Tourism, Energy/Extractive (Oil, Gas And Mining) Biotechnologies, and Biodiversity and Marine Ecosystem.
On the last day 28th of April, a sideline meeting was held between teams of experts from IGAD, WWF, AUDA-NEPAD lead by AfDB and concluded on the possibilities of developing concept to establish Blue Economy Trust Fund in Africa.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa was created in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGAD) which was founded in 1986 to mitigate the effects of the recuring severe droughts and other disasters that resulted in widespread famine, ecological degradation and economic hardship in the region.
During the meeting held in Addis Ababa on April 2022, the IGAD BE strategy (2021-2025) was endorsed. The strategy underlined the need for “promoting the Blue Economy as a key source of inclusive economic growth, job creation and education, on the evidence based sustainable management of marine resources. It intends to structure the Blue Economy implementation at both national and sub-regional levels while increasing regional cooperation and institutional strengthening. The strategy has already spurred the formulation of the Blue Economy Strategies in Somalia as well as in Ethiopia (already validated and endorsed by the Federal Government in December 2022) and Kenya. Upon request, the African Development Bank has already hired a consultant to support Somalia in the development of its blue economy implementation framework and sectoral investment as they are validating their strategy.