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Kenya ready for Blue Economy Summit to tap water resources | Coastweek

MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- Modern container berths at Mombasa Kilindini Port. During the week under review 11 container vessels went alongside the two container terminals to record a ship average working time of 2.25 days as container dwell time registered 4.45 days. Being East Africa’s largest port, Mombasa port serves as an important logistic hub in the region, transporting containers to Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi. PHOTO - KENYA PORTS AUTHORITY


Kenya readies for Blue Economy Summit to tap water resources

by Naftali Mwaura NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya is finalizing plans to host an inaugural blue economy summit in Nairobi next week amid expectations it will chart a new roadmap in tapping water resources to drive growth.
Monica Juma, cabinet secretary for foreign affairs, told a briefing on Tuesday the three-day summit will position Kenya as a hub for growth of blue economy to promote poverty alleviation, jobs creation, industrial growth and sustainable environmental management.

Solid measures are already in place to ensure the inaugural blue economy summit is successful, she said.

"Kenya is ready to host the blue economy conference and we are confident it will be a success thanks to the commitment demonstrated by sponsors and participants," Juma said of the meeting, which begins on Monday.

She said 11,000 delegates from around the world have confirmed their participation at the summit that is expected to rekindle debate on utilization of marine and inland water resources to achieve sustainable development.

"This is truly a global conference and 180 countries have already confirmed attendance and 11 delegations will be led at the head of state level," Juma said, adding that the bulk of participants will be from Africa.

Kenya will be co-hosting the inaugural blue economy summit with Canada.


NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma addresses journalists in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Nov. 20, 2018. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tuesday hosted a session with countries sponsoring the forthcoming Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, Kenya’s inaugural ocean economy summit. Monica Juma met among others, representatives of Canada and Japan who are co-hosting the three-day event commencing on Nov. 26. XINHUA PHOTO: FRED MUTUNE

The gathering’s theme is "Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

The east African nation will spend an estimated 750 million shillings (about 7.5 million U.S. dollars) to host the conference that will be attended by presidents, ministers, industry executives, scientists and green campaigners.

Juma hailed financial contribution from Kenya’s bilateral partners and the local private sector to support the summit.

Kenya is banking on sustainable exploitation of its vast marine and land-based fresh water resources to catalyze industrial growth, achieve food security and promote regional trade.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is pushing efforts to revitalize the nascent blue economy that currently contributes only 2.5 percent to the gross domestic product.

The Kenyan leader on Monday launched a modern coast guard to protect the country’s territorial waters, amid threats of illegal fishing that denies the exchequer an estimated 100 million dollars.

"The coast guard will ensure that our ocean will no longer be used by drug and human traffickers, illegal arms dealers and illegal fishing vessels," Kenyatta said.

"It will guard against exploitation of our natural resources by foreign countries and ensure that never again will a foreign vessel steal our fish."

Deputy President William Ruto said the launch of the Coast Guard Service reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to becoming an unrivalled blue economy hub.

Kenya has developed a robust policy and regulatory framework to facilitate growth of blue economy and realize sustainability agenda.

"The first international blue economy conference to be held in Kenya presents an opportunity for us to borrow best practices that have worked elsewhere and convert our oceans,

lakes and rivers into avenues for economic diversification, cross border trade and climate change mitigation," said Japheth Ntiba, principal secretary for fisheries, aquaculture and the blue economy.

Kenya will leverage on the emerging opportunities in the blue economy to transform the livelihoods of coastal communities, he added.



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