By Godfrey Bivbere
Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemi Saraki, has said that Africa’s maritime potential is worth over $1 trillion in annual revenue.
She disclosed this in Lagos during the 3rd Annual Symposium of African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative (AFMESI) with the theme “African Blue Economy Which Way To Go?”
Also speaking at the event, Minister of Niger Delta affairs, Godswill Akpabio, said that the symposium is to challenge member states of the AU of their various roles and contributions to the development of the blue economy which is projected to generate about $296billion with 49 million jobs, he further informed that by 2030 the figures will be $405 billion with 57 million jobs while in 2063 estimates would be $576 billion of value created and 78 million of jobs.
Saraki who was represented by Chief Ofie Adams, a Deputy Director at the Ministry of Transportation said the blue economy is relevant to all countries and can be applied on various scales from local, national to global levels.
She explained that countries of the African Continent, including Nigeria, are not only an integral part of the entire world marine ecosystem but surely an important component at that.
“The Minister of states for transportation further informed that 38 of Africa’s 54 countries are coastal with six islands whose combined maritime industry is estimated to be worth $1 trillion per year.
“She however said to achieve the potential actionable policies formulated by African experts, governments and other stakeholders must be founded on the trusted and diversified knowledge base, supported and complemented with management and development of resources that help inspire and support innovation to achieve a deserved lead Position in the blue economy.
Saraki also noted that residual negative impact of environment and ecosystems degradation for human progress, development, and economic activities associated with its livelihood and survival must now be carried out without endangering or destroying the ecosystem of his own environment“ She further urged that the role of science and technology experts in the formulation of policies at lead positions must be given a place and must not be jeopardized by the perennial religious, socio-cultural and political considerations.