Enhancing Blue Economy in the IGAD Member States for Biodiversity Conservations and Livelihood Diversification
November 9, 2022 (JUBA, South Sudan): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) yesterday concluded a two-day Steering Committee Meeting which brought together the National Focal Persons for Blue Economy and Fisheries Directors along with technical and development partners.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries of South Sudan, Hon. Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec, stated: “The Formulation of the project enabled IGAD to develop the “IGAD Blue Economy Strategy (2012 – 2025)” which comes as a milestone to support implementation of CAADP (Malabo declaration) and meeting the African Union 2063 Transformation Agenda, of “inclusive growth and sustainable development”. This transformation agenda will help in growth of African young economies like that of my Country, the Republic of South Sudan.”
The Programme Manager of the Agriculture & Food Security Unit at IGAD Secretariat, Dr Mohyeldeen El-Taha, also took the floor to say: “IGAD has signed a project for enhancing Blue Economy in the IGAD member states for biodiversity conservations and livelihood diversification aimed at promoting Blue Economy with funding from Sweden”. He also added that IGAD plays the central coordination role in the implementation of this project.
The Head of Regional Development Cooperation for Africa at the Embassy of Sweden in Ethiopia, Ms. Ulla Andrén, said: “For many reasons, sustainable management and utilization of both marine and inland water bodies through an integrated Blue Economy approach is the way to go. The importance of sustainable Blue Economy in contributing to food security and as an avenue for conflict reduction on the resource cannot be over emphasised.”
This IGAD Blue Economy Project’s Steering Committee which is meeting for the first time, attained the below objectives:
- Shared progress of BE in respective member states;
- Reviewed and adapted the draft Terms of reference (ToR) for the Steering Committee;
- Raised awareness among IGAD Member States on the Project;
- Disseminated information on status of project implementation, including progress on implementation of activities and challenges encountered;
- Share information on planned and ongoing activities related to BE by relevant stakeholders; and
- Developed recommendations for strategic direction of the project.
The Steering Committee will meet once a year and provide overall advice, ensure delivery of the project outputs and gauge progress in achievement of project outcomes.
The participants of the meeting also took the time today for a field visit to Gabaat Fishing Port on Nile River in Juba, the Juba Port and the Fish Market to consult with the fishing communities.
IGAD Regional Blue Economy Strategy was unanimously endorsed by the IGAD MS Ministers responsible on coordinating Blue Economy (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda) on April 1, 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The IGAD Blue Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan intend to structure the Blue Economy implementation at both national and regional levels while increasing cooperation and regional integration, and strengthening support to the member states to effectively translate policies into concrete actions.
It will also contribute to the effective implementation of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy (and its up-coming Action Plan). More specifically, the IGAD Blue Economy Strategy aims to:
- improve the implementation of the BE in all IGAD members States;
- contribute to the implementation of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy;
- develop strong harmonizing regional BE initiatives; and
- increase cooperation and regional integration by using the BE as a catalyst to stimulate a converging dynamic of interests and efforts.