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Why Developed Economies Must Support Africa To Benefit From Ocean economy

By Stephen Ubanna

Dakuku Peterside, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and Chairman, African Maritime Administrations, AAMA,   has drawn the plight of Africa and other developing economies  to the Industrialised nations  in far away  Osolo, capital of the Asian country of Norway.  Peterside who is in  Norway to attend  the Nowegiqan, popular, NOR  Shipping  Conference and Exhibition  , holding between Tuesday, June 4, and Friday, June 7, 2019,  had  noted that  ”ocean  industries  will be contributing  to sustainable development  goals  in the world  only when   developing and developed  economies  benefit  in a sustainable manner.

The NIMASA Director General who could not hide his feelings  called on  the developed economies  and Multi-national Companies  to support Africa and other developing economies  to build Capacity  and Regulatory Enforcement needed  to ”maximise the benefits  of ocean economy. He   pointed that  33 of Africa’s 54 countries  are either  coastal  or Island states . The NIMASA boss disclosed that these  African countries   are faced with enormous challenges   as other coastal nations such as Environmental pollution, climate change,  poor ocean governance , overfishing , insecurity  and marine liter .

 perhaps, to put Africa on a sound maritime footing, the NIMASA boss  was said to have advocated  that developing  economies  and  the small Island  states need  to work together in two principal areas of building up  their Regulatory Enforcement  Capacity   as well as developing  the skills and technology  needed to tap  to the ocean economy  in a sustainable manner.

He believes that the offshore  exploration Companies and other  ocean  economic activities  have not  done enough to support Africa and other developing economies,,  urging them to apply the  same operating and environmental  standards  used in the developed economies  instead of adopting a different standard in developing nations like Nigeria. He maintained that applying the same standards of operation  will ”ensure  that no country  is left behind in ”our collective  quest  for clean  and  sustainable  ocean  that support economic prosperity”.  

According to him, ”responsible  ocean governance  and economic opportunities  are not mutually exclusive  but complementary”.  The good news was that  the Director General of the Nigerian maritime regulatory  agency spoke at a a gathering of the cream of world  shipping magnates which include   Ms. Lise Kingo, Chief Executive officer, CEO,   of United Nations Global Compact,  Ki Tack Lim, Secretary General of International Maritime Organisation, IMO,   Michael Lodge,  Secretary General of  International  Seabed  Authority, Vice President of Seychelles and CEOs of several multi-national Companies. Also in attendance at the high profile meeting in the Norwegian capital of Osolo were Shipping magnates and Administrators .   Torbjorn Roe Isaksen, the Norwegian minister of Trade was  equally at the meeting to interact with the invitees on the areas of trade Cooperation between Norway and their respective countries. Note that Nigeria is one of major importing nations of Stockfish produced in Norway. Statistics from the ministry of Trade shows that the country spends  millions of dollars annually to import  stockfish from the Asian country.

The high level  Ocean leadership  meeting  which was organised by  the United Nations Global Compact  and the Norwegian government was said to have been  held at the residence  of the country’s Prime minister, as part of the activities to mark  the 2019 edition  of NOR shipping  . 

The forum was said to have discussed  the highlights  of global goals, Ocean opportunities  which many believe  was a report  of the UN Global Compact  as well as   UN Global Compact  sustaineable  ocean  principles  that will be unveiled this September in NewYork, United States of America.

 Ms.Kingo,  the CEO, UN, Global Compact , may have gladdened the heart of  maritime Administrators  from  Africa and other developing economies when  she said  they have a specific mandate  to work with  and inspire  companies  of all sizes and from all regions  and industries , to ”act responsibly  and find opportunities to advance  sustainable development.  Her joy was that  many business  around the world are taking appreciable  interest in ocean sustainability  work

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