The second Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF) will take place on 25-26 June 2019 in Tunis, historic city for maritime trade and economic powerhouse at the crossroads between Europe and Africa.
Once again, the annual event will bring together 150+ delegates from across the globe, including ocean experts and innovators, African political leaders and policy makers, international entrepreneurs and investors, as well as NGOs and multilaterals, to discuss the great potential of the blue economy to drive sustainable growth in Africa.
Last year, during the forum’s inauguration, speakers and delegates at ABEF2018 agreed on the need for innovative financing to start developing Africa’s blue economy on a wider scale, involving not only governments but also the private sector. Building on these recommendations, ABEF2019 will have a strong focus on business and investment. Discussions will explore the opportunities and innovations in emerging and frontier sectors of the blue economy and how they can help accelerate Africa’s transformation.
Africa’s maritime industry is estimated at around US$1 trillion per year and the asset value of ocean economy ecosystems around US$24 trillion. The Blue Economy has a unique potential to create jobs, sustain livelihoods for local communities and offer low-cost impactful climate change adaptation solutions on the continent.
Leila Ben Hassen, Founder and CEO of ABEF organiser, Blue Jay Communication, said: “This year’s Forum is designed as an action-oriented platform aiming to create partnerships, facilitate investments and ultimately create jobs for Africa’s youth while engaging more women in the Blue Economy value chain. I believe that today we cannot speak about growth if it is not sustainable and taking into consideration the social and environmental impact.”
ABEF panel topics will include: Public-private partnerships; Fishing & Aquaculture; Ports & Trade; Ocean Energy; Governance & Security; Pollution & Waste Management; Women Empowerment; Youth Education & Technology; and Ocean Financing.
High-level speakers have already been confirmed, including:
- Jacqueline Alder, Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- Joshua Brien, Cooley LLP
- Manuel Castiano, World Wide Fund (WWF) Mozambique
- Bernhard Friess, Commission européenne
- Sanjeev Gupta, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)
- Peter Hammarstedt, Sea Shepherd
- Paul Holthus, World Ocean Council (WOC)
- Dr Frannie Léautier, Trade & Development Bank (TDB)
- Marc Naidoo, Standard Chartered Bank
- Christian Neumann, GRID-Arendal
- Marta Marrero, The Nature Conservancy
- Torsten Thiele, The Global Ocean Trust