The first ever global blue economy conference opened in Nairobi on Monday.
The three-day gathering seeks to harness the promise and address the vulnerabilities of the blue economy.
Over 18,000 participants are attending the conference which is expected to come up with strategies to harness water resources to improve the lives of all, particularly people in developing states.
The delegates will also learn how to leverage the latest innovations, scientific advances and best practices to build prosperity while conserving waters for future generations.
President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged Kenya’s support for the sustainable blue economy by highlighting key areas of focus.
He said Kenya would lead in the adoption of appropriate policies, strategies and mechanisms to harness the blue economy to re-energise national economies and create greater opportunities and jobs.
“I am convinced that for the sake of the present and future generations, and for the continued viability of our ecosystems, we have to envision a different future and, therefore, a different model for the blue economy. I pledge to envision that future and do my part to promote it,” President Kenyatta said.
His administration, said President Kenyatta, was taking measures to revive Kenya’s maritime transport by building and expanding its ports and shipping facilities, and partnering with global shipping lines to extend its maritime reach.
“We are enhancing our capabilities for Kenya seafarers to work on ships across the vast oceans by, inter alia, upgrading the Kenya Maritime School.”
President Kenyatta last week launched the Kenya Coast Guard Service to police Kenya’s territorial waters and resources as well as ensure that the nation fully benefits from its water resources.
He called for the world to work together to secure success in managing the global aquatic resources for sustainable global development.
Other heads of state and government at the conference, who included, President Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique), Abdullahi Mohamed (Somalia), Ali Mohammed Shein (Zanzibar) and Danny Faure of Seychelles, committed themselves to the preservation of the marine resources, saying if well harnessed, marine resources could contribute more than double the current global economy.