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March 12, 2024 (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) through its Blue Economy Programme, with financial support from the Government of Sweden, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), organized a two-day workshop to strengthen Ethiopia’s National Blue Economy Coordination Platform. In order to domesticate the IGAD Blue Economy Strategy, IGAD has supported all its Member States and each Member State developed its own national Blue Economy Strategy, aligned with the IGAD and AU Blue Economy Strategies. Some Member States such as Kenya and Somalia have started implementing their Strategies through establishing Government Ministries for Blue Economy.

The workshop convened representatives from various national BE sectors and institutions such Ministry of Transport and Logistics, Ministry and Water and Energy, Ministry of Agriculture (Fisheries Desk), Ministry of Mining, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, Ministry of Plan and Development, Ministry of Finance, Research and Higher Learning Institution, and Ministry of Labour and Skills. The purpose of this consultative workshop was to strengthen the national Blue Economy governance of Ethiopia through strengthening coordination among key sectors and mobilize resources for the implementation of the BE Strategy.

Speaking at the opening session of the workshop, Dr. Eshete Dejen, Program Manager for Sustainable Environment Unit, on behalf of Director of IGAD Agriculture and Environment Division, Daher Elmi, said “Strengthening national coordination platforms for Blue Economy (BE) will assist IGAD Member States to develop synergy among different sectors and develop Directory of BE that comprises programs and projects implemented by the BE related sector institutions.”

Mr. Abduliber Shemsu, Director General for Maritime Authority under Ministry of Transport and Logistics, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia also emphasized that: “Ethiopia has huge Blue Economy Resource and the Government is fully committed to enhance sustainable development of the Blue Sectors.”

The national Blue Economy (BE) Coordination Platforms meeting concluded successfully with representatives from various national BE sectors and institutions having productive discussions and below were the key outputs:

  • Platform stakeholders action plan for one year drafted and discussed,
  • Draft national BE Governance and Coordination system developed and draft ToR prepared,
  • The platform member experts suggested to be permanent technical platform members officially recognized by their respective institution,
  • Resource mobilization and facilitation of upcoming activities by respective sectors outlined.

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