• Ocean Governance & Blue Economy

Leveraging Africa’s leadership on Ocean Governance and Blue Economy: Fostering a strengthened Africa-Europe Ocean Partnership

  • The Africa-Europe Foundation

High-Level Policy Dialogue on Ocean Governance & Blue Economy

The high-level event, to be co-hosted in the sidelines of the African Union Executive Council as an Africa-Europe High-Level Policy Dialogue on Ocean Governance and Blue Economy, will build on the progress achieved under the leadership of the current AU Presidency and beyond, the Governments of Comoros, Seychelles, Angola, and Portugal, together with the African Union Commission’s Department for Agriculture, Rural Development, and Blue Economy, as well as with the Africa-Europe Foundation.

This activity will be jointly organized the Africa-Europe Foundation, in partnership with the Governments of Comoros, Seychelles, and Portugal, and with the support of the African Union Commission and the European Union.

It will take place on February 15 from 07.30 to 10.00 am at the Hyatt Regency in Addis Ababa.


“We know that restoring harmony with nature through a healthy, productive, sustainable, and resilient ocean is critical for our planet, our lives, and our future. We call upon all stakeholders to urgently take ambitious and concerted action to accelerate implementation to achieve Goal 14 as soon as possible without undue delay. (Lisbon Declaration)”

As a fundamental part to life on the planet, the Ocean plays a multifaceted role. It acts as a sink and reservoir of greenhouse gases, as well as a climate regulator, while also contributing to greater food security, more decent jobs and new professional opportunities (blue careers), greater biodiversity, and more global trade linkages.

Yet, the Ocean is facing a global emergency, as a result of increased ocean temperatures and acidification, sea level rising, overexploitation of marine resources, Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, as well as growing coastal erosion and more frequent extreme weather events, among others.

“We reaffirm our will to promote blue economy at continental and regional levels and to accelerate the Great Blue Wall initiative to drive nature-based blue recovery efforts, enhance socio-ecological resilience, and foster a regenerative blue economy on the African continent and in support of African Island and Coastal States.(Moroni Declaration)”

The nature-based blue economy in Africa, emphasizing sustainable practices and ecosystem management, offers a valuable opportunity for sustainable development, shared prosperity, and reinforced multilateralism. The blue economy, focusing on sustainable practices, research, innovation, and ecosystem management, has the potential to create 127 million jobs and generate 576 billion USD annually by 2063.

The high-level side event will contribute to advancing a mutually beneficial vision and set of common priorities for Africa and Europe on ocean policy and action, including on the international stage at the 2024 African Union Summit, and towards 2024, a key year for International Treaties, and revised AU programming.

The event will also pave the way for a collective sustainable future as Africa moves into the second decade of its Agenda 2063, Europe enters in a new political and policy cycle, and we start preparing the third UN Ocean Conference in 2025, following up on the work since the last edition in 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.

It will also contribute to the call for the swift ratification and entry into force of the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (the BBNJ Agreement), a key instrument for the good governance of the ocean.

Speakers will Include

  • Ambassador Nancy Karigithu, Africa-Europe Foundation Strategy Group Co-chair, and Kenya's Special Envoy for Maritime and Blue Economy
  • Dhoihir Dhoulkamal, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Union of the Comoros
  • João Gomes Cravinho, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal
  • Ambassador Conrad Mederic, Ambassador of the Republic of Seychelles to the African Union
  • Ambassador Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment
  • Daniel Ali Bandar, Secretary-General of the Government of the Union of the Comoros
  • Ambassador Javier Niño Perez, Head of the European Union Delegation to the African Union
  • Chrissant Barbe, Director General, Blue Economy Department, Republic of Seychelles
  • Nassim Oulmane, Director, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Division at UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)