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April 17, 2024 (Mogadishu, Somalia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), through its Blue Economy Section, together with the Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy of the Federal Republic of Somalia, hosted a two-day consultative workshop to strengthen Somalia’s, the longest coastline in Africa, National Coordination Platform. IGAD has supported all its Member States, and each Member State has 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 by establishing government ministries for the economy.

With the aim of promoting a sustainable Blue Economy in the region, experts from various national BE sectors and institutions of Somalia, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Water and Energy, the City University of Mogadishu, and Darul Hikmah University-DHU, and FAO convened to strengthen the national Blue Economy governance and coordination of Somalia.  In this consultative meeting the mechanisms to strengthening coordination among key sectors, reviewing the status of the implementation of Somalia’s BE strategy, and ways to mobilize resources to implement the National BE Strategy was thoroughly discussed.

The Director in the Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy, Ms. Raisa Mohammed, graced the opening ceremony of this “consultative workshop to strengthen Somalia’s National Coordination Platform” and, in her remarks, emphasised that the meeting is of particular importance to the development BE and benefit of the country for economic self-sufficiency and job creation. The Director urged all participants to put their efforts, knowledge, and experience together to establish a strong Blue Economy coordination teams for the better utilisation of blue resources. The Director concluded by appreciating the work done by IGAD in supporting Somalia to sustainably utilize its BE potential. She also thanked the various ministries and departments for heeding the call to participate in the meeting.

Additionally, Mr. Mohamoud Kaarshe, IGAD Head of Mission to Somalia, speaking on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, noted that the Blue Economy and Biodiversity are top priorities for #IGAD, and this is well-reflected in the new IGAD Regional Corporate Strategy 2021-2025. IGAD is dedicated to providing all necessary support for the sustainable utilisation of Blue Economy potentials for the socio-economic development of the region.

Dr. Eshete Dejen, Programme Manager for Sustainable Environment Protection Unit of IGAD, on behalf of the IGAD Director for Agriculture and Environment. Division, highlighted that Somalia is endowed with vast blue resources and is a BE pioneer in the IGAD region. If Somalia develops and properly exploits its blue resources, it can be a great source of food security and nutrition. Dr. Eshete appreciated the Federal Government of Somalia’s commitment to the BE development, which is manifested in the hosting of important regional BE meetings organised by IGAD. At the national level, Somalia has endorsed a national BE strategy and went ahead to develop an investment plan. With BE being the pillar of Somalia’s economy, it is the only IGAD Member State with a full time IGAD staff dedicated to supporting the BE Project in Somalia.” this

Participants from various national BE sectors and institutions had constructive deliberations, which led to successful conclusion of the two-day meeting. Below are the major takeaways:

  • Adopted a one-year BE platform’s action plan.
  • Established a draft Governance and Coordination Terms of Reference (ToR).
  • Established the Somalia National BE platform network as a permanent technical hub and was also in charge of resource mobilisation for the implementation of the National BE strategy.

The meeting was organised with financial support from the Government of Sweden, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) Project titled “Enhancing Blue Economy in the IGAD Coastal Member States for Biodiversity Conservations and Livelihood Diversification.”

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