Participants in the first edition of the Blue Africa Summit, held on November 16-17 in Tangier, welcomed the “strong ocean commitment” of HM King Mohammed VI.
In the Tangier Declaration issued at the end of this summit, held under the High Patronage of His Majesty the King, for the first time on the African continent, they called on the States of the African Atlantic coast to “join Morocco’s initiative of a coalition of united countries”.
They also called on all national and local authorities on the African continent to devise plans or strategies for sustainable development of their coastlines and exclusive economic zones, support the creation of maritime space plans nationally and internationally to develop a sustainable blue economy and promote, among other things, the protection of these spaces and their precious biodiversity up to 30% by 2030.
Participants in this summit, initiated by the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco and Saison Blue, exhorted maritime entrepreneurs to develop sustainable economic models taking into account the well-being of coastal populations, while inviting States to encourage initiatives, such as the Great Blue Wall or maritime corridors combining scientific expertise, citizen engagement and development to protect the Ocean, a common resource.
They also called on African countries and international partners, recognizing the leadership of the Union of the Comoros in its capacity as current President of the African Union, to join the African Panel of Heads of State for the development of a regenerative blue economy, created at the Africa Climate Summit.
In this respect, they stressed the need for all stakeholders concerned to recognize the importance of establishing a permanent mechanism serving as a platform for dialogue and an incubator of concrete initiatives to strengthen the Africa-Europe strategic partnership.
Recalling that Africa, with a population that will reach 2 billion inhabitants by 2050, almost two thirds of which will live less than 60 km from a coastline, is a continent that deserves special treatment, the participants said that African growth depends and will largely depend on investments in the blue economy or finance, as long as they benefit local economies and populations.
In this regard, they underlined that the opening up of Sahel and interior Africa countries can only be achieved through an ambitious ocean vision.
This recognition of the African ocean obviously involves the development of coastal and port infrastructure, as well as fishing and commercial fleets which will allow States and populations to benefit from their own commercial, fishing, marine, genetic and energy resources, they pointed out.
The Blue Africa Summit was attended by representatives of 26 countries out of the 38 coastal States on the African continent, as well as their neighbors from the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Indian basins, political leaders, representatives of the scientific community, civil society, African youth, and economic stakeholders.
This event was also attended by senior representatives of the United Nations, the European Union and other organizations representing maritime nations.