Emerging Area for African Economy: Marine, Blue Economy and Ocean Affairs

By Ambassador Maureen Tamuno Ph.D 

The current Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Belize, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the International Seabed Authority (ISA), H.E Dr. Maureen P. Tamuno, has identified untapped area that can advance  the Economy of African countries  she noted that if explored would go a long way in enhancing specific areas of countries Economy.

Strategic and deliberate move by some countries to lay emphasis on blue economy and ocean affairs underscores a commitment to sustainable development goals and environmental stewardship, the recent awareness of the Marine  Blue Economy and Ocean Affairs by some  countries has drawn praise from citizens and experts alike. This visionary decision reflects a forward-thinking approach to economic growth and showcases a dedication to preserving the invaluable marine ecosystems that define our nation. Such  establishment by nations  is a testament to the commitment of fostering a prosperous, resilient, and environmentally conscious continent.

Ambassador Tamuno stated that the implications of this step are far-reaching as the Marine and ocean Affairs holds the potential to drive  economy and innovation, create jobs, and enhance  nation’s competitiveness on the global stage.

Equally significant is the need to address pressing environmental challenges. Oceans, which cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, are under considerable threat from pollution, over-exploitation, and the impacts of climate change, as seen in our coastal areas and hinterland. 

Moreover, such  commitments resonates with global commitments such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Paris Agreement, which emphasize the importance of sustainable ocean management. This trajectory aligns  with international efforts to safeguard our planet’s oceans for current and future generations by prioritizing the marine and blue Economy.

It is worth noting that Ambassador Tamuno, in October 2022, employed her diplomatic capabilities and successfully organized a three-day summit in collaboration with the International Seabed Authority in Abuja, Nigeria. The event centered on the overarching theme of “Promotion of the sustainable development of Africa’s deep-seabed Resources in Support of Africa’s Blue Economy. The event was well attended by A-list personalities that included the Secretary-General, International Seabed Authority, Michael Lodge; Minister of State for Transportation, Chief of Naval Staff, as well as Experts and Senior representatives from Nigeria, Comoros, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Sao Tome and Principe and Uganda.

The outcomes of the workshop have informed Nigeria to initiate preparations for securing a contract in the deep seabed, to explore minerals on the seabed beyond national jurisdiction.

Amb Tamuno, who also Chairs the Informal Working Group on Inspection, Compliance, and Enforcement in the ISA, stated that it is time for African Countries and corporate organizations to key into the enormous economic opportunities available as over thirty Contracts have already been awarded to other member states.

As citizens, she implores us to make conscious efforts in safeguarding our natural heritage. Amb Tamuno, who has been appointed an International Gender Champion by the International Gender Champion Network in Geneva, concluded that in the grand scheme, this new area of opportunity is  about forging a path towards a more harmonious relationship between human activity and nature. As the initiatives of the Marine , and Blue Economy unfold, we can look forward to witnessing a transformation that leaves an indelible mark on nation’s legacy.

One Reply to “Emerging Area for African Economy: Marine, Blue Economy and Ocean Affairs”

  1. Adebayo Adeoye 8 months ago

    This is well written article. Deep and very insightful.

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