• Ocean Governance & Blue Economy

Mainstreaming Ocean Governance and Blue Economy in the Africa-Europe Partnership

  • The Africa-Europe Foundation

The African continent is endowed with vast marine resources, yet its potential for fostering economic growth through sustainable ocean governance remains largely untapped. Recognising the mutual benefits of cooperation, Africa and Europe have the potential to collaborate and unlock investment opportunities in blue economy sectors for shared prosperity. This includes fisheries and aquaculture, shipping and port infrastructure, renewable energy, tourism, and blue biotechnology, all leading to employment opportunities, economic growth, and revenue generation.

Investment in ocean governance and the blue economy presents a compelling opportunity for substantial financial returns, while concurrently advancing sustainable development, preserving the environment, and promoting social inclusivity and equity. In elevating ocean governance and blue economy politically and financially, Africa and Europe can embark on a transformative journey towards economic diversification, simultaneously reaping climate and biodiversity co-benefits.

Regrettably, unsustainable human activities and harmful impacts continue to degrade the ocean leading to profound changes and hampering the much-needed achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda and its ocean-related goals. The UN Ocean Decade Conference marks a pivotal moment in leveraging cross-continental and multilateral level action, recognizing the intricate potential of ocean action to chart a course towards stronger partnerships.

It remains key to inform decision-makers across Africa and Europe, and globally on the necessity to invest in the blue economy as a tool to enhance cooperation, employment opportunities, revenue generation, and climate and biodiversity positive growth, as well as to position Africa and Europe as drivers of a sustainable global ocean agenda.

In view of this, this Working Lunch, to be hosted in the sidelines of the UN Ocean Decade Conference, will build on the progress under the leadership of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), and provide a space for a limited number of representatives from the Africa-Europe Strategy Group on Ocean Governance and the Africa Task Force of the UN Ocean Decade to meet.

The meeting working will serve as a key moment for the two strategic projects to share objectives, state-of-play, and expected results. The meeting will also serve as a critical juncture on the road towards the third United Nations Ocean Conference in 2025 (UNOC3) and the 7th AU-EU Summit in 2025, to seek partnership opportunities and amplify outreach and communication.

About the author

The Africa-Europe Foundation