‘Somalia is ready for a sustainable blue economy’

12366885945 774b04f81c zMohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, president of Somalia, said his country could benefit the most from a robust and sustainable blue economy

Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo spoke at the Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi at the invitation of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to harness the enormous potential of the blue economy while conserving water for future generations.

He said the country, with a coastline of more than 3,300 km and an upwind zone, offers endless potential for ocean-based industries and investments.

Farmajo voiced, “We have an abundance of untapped reserves, from fisheries and marine resources to offshore oil and gas, and various minerals resources. My administration recognises that this largely unexploited resource-based can have transformative outcomes in addressing poverty, food insecurity, water shortages, energy needs, and unemployment challenges.”

“We are therefore developing a comprehensive strategy to tap and harness the full potential of sea-based economy in an environmentally sustainable manner,” he further added.

He stated that the Ministry of Ports and Maritime Affairs fosters the promotion of partnerships for the development and modernisation of geostrategic ports, shipping, the seafood industry, aquaculture, desalination and mineral development.

Farmajo pointed out that sustainable development is an inseparable link between peace and security, and long conflicts have had a negative impact on the growth and development of Somalia's marine resources.

He went on to address illegal activities along the country’s coastlines such as unsanctioned exploitation of marine resources by foreign fishing fleets; illegal charcoal trade to foreign markets; and dumping of toxic waste, which have become some of the most serious environmental challenges affecting the Somali coast.

“I hope one of the momentous outcomes of this historic conference would be a strong commitment to cooperate on controlling all illegal offshore activities. We believe, with transparency and enhanced cooperation, and advances in technology and satellite capabilities, we should be able to curb these activities,” he noted.

Somalia, according to its president, is strengthening its governance by heightening security cooperation for stability, including safe oceans and seas, and enhancing resilience to mitigate the harsh effects of climate change, and continuing droughts.

“I take this opportunity to commit that Somalia is ready for suitable and sustainable partnerships and investments to tap into our rich marine resources,” he concluded.

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