Seychelles Working to Develop a Blue Economy Policy for Africa, Presidents Tells Conference in Japan

Seychelles is working with African organisations to develop a Blue Economy policy for the continent, President Danny Faure said at a conference taking place in Yokohama, Japan.

Faure made the statement in the thematic session on the Blue Economy on Thursday which was part of the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), State House said.

Faure said that as the champion for the development of the Blue Economy in Africa, Seychelles is working actively with the African Union Commission and the UNECA, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He added that the Blue Economy policy and development tools for the continent may be adapted to each country accordingly.

"What is important to highlight is that most of us on the African continent are often crippled by our limited resource capacity. However, if we were to combine efforts, align our objectives, and rely on each other's strengths, we could indeed attain the seemingly unattainable!" said Faure.

In his statement, Faure highlighted the efforts Seychelles is making to establish the equilibrium between development and conservation.

"Towards that end, by 2020 we would have completed a comprehensive Marine Spatial Plan of our Exclusive Economic Zone, thus setting a benchmark to be emulated global," he said.

The head of state of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, said the country's Blue Economy focus is equally on the development of value addition services and the circular economy, especially through the fish processing industry.

He added that Africa cannot derive optimum benefits from the Blue Economy without securing a rules-based maritime order and maritime safety and security.

"Armed robbery and piracy at sea, despite our concerted international efforts continue to be of major concern, in addition to IUU (illegal, unreported, unregulated) fishing and other illegal activities. It is relevant, therefore, to reiterate the call of the TICAD VI Nairobi Declaration and to respect the principles of international law," said Faure.

The thematic session chaired by the Foreign Minister for Japan, Taro Kono, focused on discussing opportunities to explore avenues that exist for Africa to promote initiatives on the development of the Blue Economy concept.

President Faure is leading the Seychelles delegation at TICAD7. The conference will end on Friday, August 30.

TICAD, which has been organised by the government of Japan since 1993, provides a platform of discussion for important issues related to Africa's development, and process that allows all member states and partners to come together for the further development of the continent.

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