Financing a Sustainable and Resilient Ocean Economy in Africa

Seychelles, February 21 - 23, 2018

Objective

The main objective of the conference is to advance the agenda of maximizing finance for development in the blue economy, by optimizing the use of scarce public resources and crowding in the private sector. More specifically, the conference will aim to enhance knowledge and highlight innovative solutions on how Africa can maximize finance to support sustainable blue economy initiatives.

The sustainable development of African blue economies is a way to diversify these economies and enhance their resilience in the face of climate change. The related financing requirements are expected to far exceed the available traditional public or philanthropic financing, and the private sector could be a decisive partner to achieve these goals. The approach should be to offer the best possible value for money – drawing on private resources when they can help achieve these development goals, and reserving public financing for other sectors and services, where private sector engagement is not optimal or available.

The conference will bring together a wide array of experts to help identify the potential roles that various forms of financing can play, and how best to use scarce public resources to make African blue economies investment-ready: clarify investment prerequisites and phases, identify financing gaps, and propose financial solutions for each phase. The conference will offer deep-dives into select sub-sectors of the blue economy, including:

  • Fisheries. In a context of global and destructive overcapitalization of marine fisheries, identify the needs for adopting new approaches to private investments in fisheries, and transfer a portion of the financing toward fisheries management and reform. Take stock of the study “At the nexus of climate change and marine fisheries: strengthening adaptation capacity in Africa.”
  • Aquaculture. Discuss the development of national aquaculture sectors to meet local and global demand, and the possibility of private financing of sustainability prerequisites.
  • Waste Management. Discuss issues around waste management and plastic pollution, with a focus on solutions to address the scale of the challenge, fostering regional cooperation and developing public-private partnerships.
  • Marine Spatial Planning. Clarify the role for marine spatial planning in attracting private investments in the blue economy, as well as in building trust and promoting sustainability in investment decisions.
  • Coastal Resilience. Explore the respective roles of the public and private sectors in protecting assets and livelihoods against coastal erosion and flooding. The impact of climate change on corals and efforts to restore corals will be highlighted.
  • Tourism. Take stock of the state of ocean-based tourism and advances to make it more environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient.
  • Energy. Take stock of advances in the development of ocean-based energy technologies.
  • Transport. Discuss how maritime transport and other transport infrastructure (e.g., ports and coastal roads) can become more climate-resilient and how Transport can be developed in a more sustainable manner in the context of the blue economy.

Target Participants

The conference will seek to bring together representatives from various African countries, development partners, international organization, private investors, scientists, civil society and academia to share expertise, discuss lessons learned, and engage in pragmatic discussions focused on public and private solutions to build the resilience of ocean economies to climate change. The target attendance size is approximately 100-150 participants.