Summit seeks to get rid of blue economy roadblocks
Kenya hopes to gain crucial maritime knowledge from the economists conference that starts in Mombasa today in order to remove hurdles hindering the growth of the blue economy.
Challenges affecting Africa’s Maritime Economy will be addressed in the research papers to be presented during the 26th International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) conference.
According to the Conference's Local Organizing Committee Chairman Martin Mutuku, piracy, pollution and insecurity have prevented exploitation of the wealth of the Indian Ocean, lakes and rivers.
He also said they hope to learn more on the sustainable utilisation of the waters.
“We are having the best brains. The knowledge will provide useful insights. One of the key issues is about the sustainable utilisation. There are also the issues of pollution, piracy and security. There are bigger issues especially in the inland waters where we
want to see with whom can we really exploit the same and at the same time try to balance the issues of urbanisation and agriculture, “said Mr Mutuku.
More than 330 delegates will be in Mombasa for the four-day conference to be opened by Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.
Lead Scientific Organiser Prof. Michael Dooms of the University of Brussels (VUB), Belgium said the organisation will also look into the use of emerging technologies and innovation.
“Besides the conference we are organising an event which is around innovation which will have lots of young people from universities and seasoned professionals mixing together to solve challenges around how can we make a city and the economy more sustainable,” said Prof Dooms.
The conference, he said, is an opportunity for networking with the countries that have embedded the blue economy into their systems.
“It is a great opportunity. We hope it will foster and build relationships to both sides and enhance how to translate research into policy and innovation,” said Prof Dooms.
In his speech read by Dr Amani Komora, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) acting managing director Daniel Manduku said the conference will not only build and create maritime research capacity in the country but will also boost the tourism sector.
“We have international participation with representation from over 40 countries globally. The conference is an opportunity for the academician and maritime experts, practitioners to meet and discuss current and emerging research issues and contribute to the development or maritime economics and management disciplines.”