SA helps fund African oceans econ­omy project

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South Africa to make a mas­sive in­vest­ment in oceans econ­omy projects on the con­ti­nent

South Africa will al­lo­cate US$50 000 to projects in sup­port of African oceans econ­omy projects un­der the African Union's 2050 African In­te­grated Mar­itime Strat­egy (AIMS).

South Africa re­cently as­sumed the chair of the In­dian Ocean Rim As­so­ci­a­tion (IORA), an in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion con­sist­ing of 21 coastal states bor­der­ing the In­dian Ocean. IORA's aim is to pro­mote trade lib­er­al­i­sa­tion and trade co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the mem­ber states, with ac­tiv­i­ties fo­cus­ing on trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion, in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion.

“As is the tra­di­tion when as­sum­ing the IORA Chair, South Africa will make a fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion of US$250

000, in the form of US$150 000 to as­sist in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the IORA Ac­tion Plan 2017-2021, par­tic­u­larly for the es­tab­lish­ment of the new work­ing groups and the core group,” said Min­is­ter of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions and Co­op­er­a­tion Maite Nkoana-Masha­bane.

The African agenda is a prom­i­nent fea­ture of South Africa's for­eign pol­icy, and as such the coun­try will make US$100 000 avail­able for the IORA Spe­cial Fund for pi­lot de­vel­op­ment projects aimed at im­prov­ing the lives of IORA's poor­est peo­ple.

“Half of this amount (US$50 000) will be al­lo­cated to projects in Africa in sup­port of African oceans econ­omy projects un­der the 2050 AIMS,” the Min­is­ter added.

She was ad­dress­ing the IORA 17th Meet­ing of the Coun­cil of Min­is­ters, which was held in Dur­ban in Oc­to­ber.

South Africa as­sumed the IORA chair dur­ing the meet­ing.

The Min­is­ter said the meet­ing was suc­cess­fully used to ad­vance South Africa's pri­or­i­ties for its time as IORA chair from 2017 to 2019, in­clud­ing the AIMS and Agenda 2063.

She noted that a coun­try's for­eign pol­icy is firmly premised on its do­mes­tic pri­or­i­ties, so South Africa ex­pects great div­i­dends from link­ing the

IORA Blue Econ­omy to its do­mes­tic Op­er­a­tion Phak­isa: Oceans Econ­omy ini­tia­tive.

The coun­cil also ap­pointed South Africa's Dr Nomvuyo Nokwe, the coun­try's for­mer High Com­mis­sioner to Mau­ri­tius, as the next Sec­re­tary­Gen­eral of IORA.

Dr Nokwe will suc­ceed Am­bas­sador KV Bha­gi­rath of In­dia, who will con­clude his term as Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral of the as­so­ci­a­tion at the end of the year.

“I wish to thank Am­bas­sador Bha­gi­rath for his ster­ling lead­er­ship of the sec­re­tar­iat over re­cent years, and we wish Dr Nokwe the best in her new po­si­tion.We as­sure her of our sup­port,” said Min­is­ter Nkoana-Masha­bane.

South Africa is one of the found­ing mem­bers of the IORA.

Half of the world's trade trav­els through this re­gion and IORA's vast coast­line holds two thirds of world's oil re­serves, and one third of bulk cargo traf­fic and pro­duces goods and ser­vices worth over

US$1 tril­lion, with in­tra-IORA trade amount­ing to some US$777 bil­lion.

South Africa's theme for its ten­ure is ‘Unit­ing the Peo­ples of Africa, Asia, Aus­trala­sia and the Mid­dle East through En­hanced Co­op­er­a­tion for Peace, Sta­bil­ity and Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment'.

As chair, South Africa has com­mit­ted to fur­ther re­gional co­op­er­a­tion in ar­eas such as the blue econ­omy, women's eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment, SME pro­mo­tion, youth em­pow­er­ment and co­op­er­a­tion among aca­demics, and in sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy.

Source: SAnews

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