The blue economy aims to move beyond business as usual and to consider economic development and ocean health as compatible propositions. Blue economy is ideal for a long-term strategy aimed at supporting sustainable and equitable economic growth through oceans-related sectors and activities such as tourism, fisheries, renewable energy, and maritime transport.
The blue economy is relevant to all countries and can be applied on various scales, from local to global. In order to become practical, the blue economy concept must be supported by a trusted and diversified knowledge base, and complemented with management and development resources that help inspire and support innovation. A blue economy approach must fully anticipate and incorporate the impacts of climate change on marine and coastal ecosystems —impacts both already observed and anticipated.
The world has numerous coastal and island countries with low and lower-middle income levels, for whom oceans represent national jurisdiction and a source of opportunity. In those countries, innovation and growth in the coastal, marine and maritime sectors could deliver food, energy, transport, amongst other products and services, and also serve as a foundation for sustainable development and economic growth. Diversifying countries’ economies beyond land-based activities and along their coasts, is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and delivering smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth globally. For instance, in Europe, the blue economy contributes to about 5.4 million jobs and generates a gross added value of almost €500 billion a year.
Globally, it is estimated that the blue economy contributes to about US$ 1.5 trillion per annum (3 percent of global GDP) and creates approximately 350 million jobs in fishing, aquaculture, coastal and marine tourism and research activities. A number of countries in the Western Indian Ocean including Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Union of Comoros have developed action plans as well as advanced policies and institutional frameworks to support in exploiting the blue economy. The estimated annual economic value of goods and services in the marine and coastal ecosystem of the Western Indian Ocean is at US$ 22 billion, and Kenya’s share is only 20 percent, mainly from tourism, which means that a lot more is required to realize the full benefits of the blue economy.
More precisely, Kenya has a maritime territory of 230,000 square kilometers and a distance of 200 nautical miles offshore, which is equivalent to 31 of the 47 counties. The country has the opportunity to maximize the benefits of the maritime sector due its strategic location in the East Africa Region, coastline, and a steadily growing regional economy. There are opportunities in marine-based tourism, ship/boat building and repair, marine aquaculture, Mariculture, maritime training, marine insurance, businesses and activities related to ports, port operations and relevant industries, shipping and logistics and commercial maritime support services. Along the 536 km of her coastline, only a small percentage has been exploited so far leaving a huge potential for development and economic growth in the near future.
Kenya has started prioritizing the blue economy as the seventh sector to drive the achievement of Vision 2030 development agenda. This is also in-line with African Union Agenda 2063 Aspiration 1, particularly goal 6 on blue/ocean economy for accelerated economic growth whose priority is on marine resources and energy, ports operations and marine transport. The need to develop the blue economy is also consistent with achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, as well as SDG 1 (end poverty in all its forms everywhere) and SDG 2 (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture).
The establishment of the Department of Fisheries and Blue Economy in the Ministry of Agriculture in September 2016 marked Kenya’s commitment to developing the blue economy. The Department is mandated to steer development and guide policy development and implementation on matters of blue economy. To facilitate the development of the blue economy, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries spearheaded the development of Tuna Fisheries Development and Management Strategy 2013-2018, which was launched in November 2014. The strategy aims at transforming tuna fisheries from artisanal-based fisheries to modern commercially-oriented coastal and oceanic fisheries.
It is obvious that Blue Economy will play a key role and attract a lot of local and international interest the coming years.
Several companies are now taking a position in order to play a part in the country’s big plans for the development of a sustainable blue economy.
In July 2016 during the visit of a Delegation of Greek Businessmen and Politicians, Eng. Kosta Kioleoglou, Managing Director of AVAKON ltd and Dr. Eng. Christos Solomonidis, Managing Director of ROGAN ASSOCIATES in Greece, had several meetings with Kenyan authorities and identified the big opportunity. “We are in a pleasant position to announce that AVAKON ltd and ROGAN ASSOCIATES will work together in order to provide top of the rank services and consultancy regarding infrastructure projects and Blue Economy related projects” Eng. Kosta Kioleoglou said during an interview with Business Monthly.
This collaboration combines decades of experience and expertise worldwide, covering all the fields of waterfront development, sea transportation, port operation and management, coastal engineering, maritime and harbor works, transport planning, environmental studies, macroeconomic analysis and planning, economic development strategies and measures, investment opportunities and portfolio planning, regional and urban analysis and planning, as well as port strategy at regional, national and international level.
Ranking as one of the top Engineering Consultancy Companies in Europe specialized in Waterfront and Port infrastructure-development, as well as in Maritime Transport, ROGAN ASSOCIATES has been offering these services all over the world for the last 40 years.
Our aim is to provide the required technical know-how and innovation to support Kenya’s plans to foster and develop a sustainable blue economy. We believe that Kenya is now ready to develop the blue economy as one of the most crucial sectors to drive the achievement of Vision 2030 development agenda, and we are ready to offer as much support as required towards this direction.
Learn more about Avakon and its associates.