His Excellency Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President and Commander in Chief of Kenya Defence Forces makes his opening address for the Global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference at Tsavo Ballroom, Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi.
The first Global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference was officially launched on Monday, 26 November 2018 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi.
While making his official opening address, His Excellency Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President and Commander in Chief of Kenya Defence Forces pointed out that oceans, seas and lakes supported livelihoods of a greater majority of the world population, enhanced food security and nutrition and provided employment to many. The President described oceans as the heart of the planet as they contained 97 percent of the Earth’s water and supplied nearly half the oxygen used in breathing, absorbed over a quarter of the carbon dioxide the world produced and regulated the weather and temperature. The President also called upon each participant to ensure they played their part in ensuring these valuable resources were protected as they were utilised.
“We have adopted a programme to accelerate the development of our fisheries, by increasing aquaculture, fish processing and storage capacities and related blue economy industries, thereby creating employment opportunities for our people,” said the President. He also disclosed that the previous week he had commissioned a new fisheries complex jetty to enable docking of large fishing and patrol vessels and announced the establishment of a Fishing Corporation. The President also confirmed that Kenya had ratified the Port State Measures Agreement that will ensure vessels flying the Kenyan flag comply with measures contained in that Agreement.
At a side event organised by the Maritime Security in Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Program (MASE) held at the Taifa Hall, University of Nairobi, Defence Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Raychelle Omamo stressed the importance of integration, cooperation and collective action among all stakeholders, if the dream of a thriving global blue economy was to be achieved.
The CS Defence appreciated MASE for the efforts it had made in ensuring improvement of security within the region. “Let us all continue to share knowledge and how we can deal with maritime threats and even maximise opportunities offered by the blue economy,” she said. The CS also stressed on the importance of incorporating women in matters security and the blue economy, and described them as a crucial entity for progress of any kind.
The side event brought together personnel from Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the East African Community, Interpol, The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Indian Ocean Commission, Coastal Community Against Piracy (CCAP) and the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS).
The three day Blue Economy Conference which is co-hosted by Kenya, Canada and Japan brings together over 15000 delegates from over 180 countries. The theme of the conference being “Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The conference focuses on new technologies and innovation for oceans, seas, lakes and rivers as well as the challenges, priorities and partnerships. The conference is expected to present immense opportunities for economic growth and will be anchored on two conceptual pillars of Sustainability, Climate Change and Controlling Pollution, Accelerated Economic Growth, Jobs and Poverty Alleviation. Transportation and Global Connectivity, Employment, Job Creation and Poverty Eradication, Maritime Security, Enforcement and regulations are among the nine sub themes of the conference.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Raychelle Omamo addresses delegates at a side event organised by the Maritime Security in Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Program (MASE) at the University of Nairobi.
Moderator of the MASE side event Mr Timothy Walker from the European Union addresses the MASE delegation.