Sum­mit seeks to get rid of blue econ­omy road­blocks

Business Daily (Kenya) - - SHIPPING & LOGISTICS - Eu­nice Mu­rathe emu­­tion­

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.”

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