Africa's blue economy focus of Berlin conference
Representatives of government, business, and civil society are converging on Berlin on 13 June to discuss investment opportunities and challenges in development of Africa’s Blue Economy at a forum organized by the German-African Business Association (GABA) in partnership with the World Ocean Council (WOC).
Participants at the German-African Business Day Conference, who will be drawn from Africa, Germany and Europe, are set to examine during panel discussions and plenary presentations what partnerships are possible for investors eyeing Africa’s sub-sectors of fisheries and aquaculture, ports and shipping, maritime transport, logistics and safety, and offshore renewable energy.
The conference, which is the sixth such forum organized by GABA, coincides with the association’s 85th anniversary and comes at a time when the annual value of Africa’s maritime industry is estimated to have reached USD 1 trillion (EUR 881 billion) and the asset value of the continent’s ocean economy ecosystems having hit USD 24 trillion (EUR 21.1 trillion).
“Afrika-Verein will be celebrating its 85th Anniversary this year and as with the history of our association business relations between our two continents started with international trade that took place via the seas, underlining the significant role the maritime sector has always played,” GABA said in a statement.
Deliberations at the Berlin conference will focus on how the huge potential of the African ocean economy can be harnessed with the support of investment from Europe, in addition to discussions on possible areas for European-African cooperation and the future of maritime security.
Furthermore, the event also provides forum for deliberations on how Africa’s Blue Economy can best catalyze the region’s anticipated industrial revolution and what specific investment opportunities are available for the private sector in the nearly 13 million square kilometers of territorial waters and exclusive economic zones controlled by 39 coastal states in Africa.
WOC CEO Paul Holthus is also scheduled to deliver a presentation on the “Growing Importance of the Blue Economy” with a focus on opportunities and challenges for achieving a sustainable blue economy in Africa.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimates Africa’s ocean wealth at USD 4 trillion (EUR 3.5 trillion) annually with goods and services taking up USD 2.5 trillion (EUR 2.2 trillion).