The blue economy can make a difference in Africa's economic transformation and development if well and sustainably tapped, an official said this week in Windhoek.
"The blue economy can be a site of economic production, which through its value chain process, can link small, medium and big production firms," said the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Director for Southern Africa (SRO SA), Said Adejumobi
Adejumobi said this when he addressed delegates at a high-level policy dialogue on the "The Blue Economy, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability" held in Windhoek.
The two-day policy dialogue aimed for stakeholders to share ideas and opportunities, on the potential threats and dangers to the blue economy sector from climate change and environmental challenges.
"If the blue economy is to serve as a viable mechanism for powering our industrialization process, the threats to the realization of such goal need to be urgently addressed," he added.
According to Adejumobi the blue economy is Africa's 'hidden treasure', which if well and sustainably tapped, can make a difference.
"In realization of the immense benefits of the blue economy, sustainable development goal 14 commits member states to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and maritime resources for purposes of development," he added.
Meanwhile United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative to Namibia, Alka Bhatia said that the desired outcome of a blue economy is to achieve improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological shortages.
According to Bhatia Namibia's fishing industry is the third largest income earner and contributes about 15 percent of total exports.
"About 16,800 people were directly employed in the fisheries sector as per estimates in 2017," she added.
Bhatia is of the view that the blue economy concept moves nations away from the business as usual development model where the oceans are for free resource extraction and waste dumping.