The Sustainable Blue Economy Conference ended on Wednesday, with different countries signing commitments that will ensure benefits accrue from the sector.
The wide range of discussions in the three-day event produced diverse proposals that will ensure countries are more awake to the opportunities that not only their oceans but also their inland water bodies provide in general.
Governments agreed to craft innovative and supportive policies to encourage investments in this sector by both foreign and domestic actors.
Kenya remained upbeat, with government officials saying that properly targeted investments in the blue economy will help lift the country’s GDP.
“I believe history will remember this as the conference that generated the momentum to harness the enormous economic potential of the blue economy, and at the same time sounded the alarm bells on its unsustainable exploitation.
“The truly global representation at this conference and its far-reaching and collectively beneficial outcomes have reaffirmed my belief in the transformative power of multilateralism. There is no problem that is too difficult to solve when we come together as a global community,” President Kenyatta said at the closing ceremony.
Kenya expressed its willingness to increasingly turn to the blue economy for solutions to pressing needs, especially extreme poverty and hunger.
On plastic and waste management, the government promised to confront the challenge as well as ensure safety and security in the high seas so that global trade, connectivity and all businesses can thrive unhindered.
Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing will also be combated. A blue economy bank to support the growth and development of the sector will be established as well as an African blue economy innovation and research centre to be set up in Kenya.