Global Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy, Nairobi Kenya - Speech by President Danny Faure at the Leaders Commitment Segment

26 November 2018 | Blue Economy

Global Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy, Nairobi Kenya

Speech by President Faure at the Leaders Commitment Segment

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Before I begin, I would like to thank the President of the Republic of Kenya, under the leadership of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, for hosting this event, and recognising the importance of global conservations of the blue economy. I would also like to thank President Kenyatta for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation. Asante sana.

I would like to congratulate Kenya, and co-hosts Canada and Japan, on the incredible success of this event, and thank them for organising this forum ahead of the 2020 Ocean Conference.

It is a great pleasure for my delegation and myself to be here in Nairobi to attend this landmark event – the first Global Conference on the Sustainable Blue Economy. Seychelles’ delegation today includes not only Government officials but representatives from the fields of business, civil society, academia, and science and research.

Seychelles’ innovative approach to the Blue Economy will be presented in the Seychelles Day side event this afternoon. For Seychelles, the Blue Economy represents the next frontier of development. Various stakeholders will present how we are pushing forward our Blue Economy agenda forward. Considering our growing capacity needs in this vital sector, Seychelles commits to training more women to join the Blue Economy and related maritime sectors.

As Champion for the Development of the Blue Economy in Africa, announced at the AU Extraordinary Summit in Addis Ababa last week, I am proud to commit to doubling Seychelles’ efforts to work with all AU member states and partners to fully integrate the Blue Economy across all our policies and programmes in Africa.

The hosting of this conference in Kenya is further evidence that Africa is beginning to make its presence felt in the growing worldwide movement to develop the Blue Economy.

This Conference showcases the importance for the African continent to seize the rich opportunities that the Blue Economy offers us. We can confidently say today that African has firmly placed the Blue Economy on its development agenda.

One sector that has been Seychelles’ focus since the beginning of 2018 is shipping.

Since hosting the First African Shipowners Summit in April 2018, Seychelles has been working closely with the African Shipowners Association to establish the Headquarters of the Pan-African Shipping Line in Seychelles, on land offered by the State. This will be the centre for all ship owners in Africa, and act as a hub for all activities related to the shipping and maritime sectors.

Seychelles will also host the first investment forum of the Pan-African Shipping Line, in March 2019. The aim of this Forum is to get greater African ownership of the shipping industry, and together, derive the maximum benefits from the maritime sector.

Growing regional ownership and responsibility for maritime security is also evident with the Indian Ocean Commission chairing the Contract Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (known as the CGPCS), for the second year in a row.

Moreover, with financing from partners, primarily the EU, the CGPCS is working closely with the Eastern and Southern African and Indian Ocean countries for the establishment of a regional mechanism for maritime surveillance and control for the Western Indian Ocean region. Five countries have already joined the regional mechanism which will become fully operational in 2019.

I encourage neighbouring countries as well as international partners to join us to make these centres international hubs that benefit all.

Regional and international cooperation have always been at the heart of our approach, and we welcome and value partnerships.

Seychelles’ Blue Economy experiences and successes to date have shown how crucial partnerships can be, especially raising innovative finance and investment. The world’s first Debt Swap for Ocean Conservation and Climate Adaptation and first sovereign Blue Bonds attest this. Both have been made possible with partners, including the Paris Club, the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Prince of Wales' International Sustainability Unit (ISU).

We believe in the importance of partnerships. Seychelles and Mauritius are together developing the framework for the first and only joint management of Extended Continental Shelf in the world, with the support of the Commonwealth. Together, we jointly managed some 400, 000 square kilometres of Extended Continental Shelf on the Mascarene Plateau. Seychelles and Mauritius commit to jointly launch this Area to investors at an international symposium to be hosted in Seychelles on 6 and 7 May 2019.

Seychelles firmly believes that good governance, transparency and accountability are critical to sustainable development. This is why my government made a commitment at the most recent Our Ocean Conference to host the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) headquarters in Seychelles by April 2019.

We have also engaged at the international level with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.

As we sail towards a sustainable blue economy anchored in a healthy ocean, this Conference is a prime opportunity for all of us to gather our collective efforts and capitalise on the opportunities that exist within the Blue Economy in Africa and beyond – for the benefit of our people, and future generations.

Thank you.


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