Mwinyi: Sustainable blue economy requires collective efforts

ZANZIBAR President Hussein Mwinyi has said that the path towards a sustainable blue economy largely depends on the collective efforts from all partners to ensure coastal and marine ecosystems are well maintained.

In a speech read on his behalf by t Zanzibar First Vice-President Mr Othman Masoud Othman at the opening of the 9th Indian Ocean Dialogue (IOD) meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member states held in Zanzibar on Monday, Dr Mwinyi called upon all partners to protect fisheries resources within the Indian Ocean.

Elaborating, he reminded IORA members to step up joint surveillance, enhance data collection, environmental monitoring, research on fisheries population dynamics, biodiversity, reproduction, genetics fish stock assessment, exchange of harvesting technologies, fish processing and marketing for them to benefit from the ocean resources.

He also called for effective utilisation of dialogue to forge new economic, social, environmental, and even political partnerships. This, he said, will ensure successful implementation of innovative development pathways for people and the ocean.

Dr Mwinyi said that Tanzania’s development priorities are strongly intertwined with the Indian Ocean, adding that the country’s rapid economic transformation has been largely influenced by the sea-borne trade ecosystem of maritime services, trade and ports infrastructure.

“Our coastal and island states of the Indian Ocean Basin resonates on key IORA priorities in promoting and strengthening our collective blue economy aspirations, as well as addressing the regional ocean governance strategy,” he pointed out.

He said the meeting under the theme: “Innovation in blue economy and its role in GDP contribution” is a critically important dialogue process, which is in alignment with the Global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

He further noted: “We have been blessed, indeed given a gift of Zanzibar as a tourism paradise in the region. We are progressing well in responsible tapping and use of mainly offshore natural gas and other sources of energy. Zanzibar is emerging in the quest for deep sea fishing, while at the same time changing the livelihoods of our artisanal fishers and aquaculture communities.”

Participants from about 23 IORA member states emphasised collaboration to realise the blue economy agenda.

Several participants argued that the regional banking facilities should increase their engagement to support the private sector, which is now emerging as the single most development catalyst to boost up blue investments in fisheries, aquaculture, maritime trade services and infrastructure, tourism, conservation, and climate adaptation, among others.

On his part, Zanzibar Minister for Bule Economy and Fisheries Mr Suleiman Masoud Makame thanked IORA Secretariat for ensuring the successful hosting of the important event in Zanzibar.

He insisted that the contribution of all partners is important in beating targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – including SDG14 – which calls to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

“This event provides us with a new momentum, in addressing our blue economy aspirations, including the opportunities, gaps, the challenges, post Covid-19 recovery efforts, our blue future, and the commitment of the IORA member states to continue mainstreaming blue economy and Ocean governance,” the minister said.

He said that the opportunity that Tanzania has been given to host this prestigious meeting, coincides with a great work of economic diplomacy agenda pushed by President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Dr Mwinyi.

The Zanzibar Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries Principal Secretary Dr Aboud Suleiman Jumbe said that IORA, which is the only inter-governmental platform that unites the will of the people of the indo-pacific realm, presents to the world the unity of continents, nations, and dialogue partners, and about how to restore the resilience of battered economies.

Dr Jumbe said the dialogue is also about “How to transform the blue economy into a great vehicle of recovery from the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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