BlueInvest Africa in Seychelles : a concrete step to promote the blue economy in Africa as part of the AU-EU partnership
The Blue Economy : a shared interest of the EU and Africa :
The majority of African states are coastal States. More than 90 % of Africa’s imports and exports are conducted by sea. The continent has a vast ocean resource base that can contribute to sustainable development of African States. Moreover, the lake zones of Africa cover approximately 240,000 square kilometres.
According to the 2016 UN ‘Africa's Blue Economy: A policy handbook’, the Blue Economy can play a major role in Africa’s structural transformation, sustainable economic progress, and social development. The African Union has already developed an Africa Blue Economy Strategy to guide its member states in tapping the potential of the sector.
The blue economy is also a priority for the European Union who is a longstanding partner of Africa as confirmed in the 6th African Union-EU Summit held in Brussels in 2022. According to the most recent EU Blue economy report, the traditional sectors of blue economy provide 4.5 million direct jobs and generate over 650 billion euro in turnover in the EU. The EU has also recently adopted a renewed EU agenda on International Ocean Governance, proposing actions for a secure, clean and sustainably managed ocean. With this policy, the EU confirms its active role in international ocean governance and its commitment to strengthen implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goal 14 on Life Below Water.
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the blue economy sector in Africa are promoting new ideas and innovative projects in fishing and aquaculture, tourism, and other marine related activities. However, they still face severe challenges to access funding and support. In addition, they have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, it is key to support those businesses to allow them to effectively contribute to the implementation of the Blue Economy strategy for Africa, providing them with financing as well as non-financial support such as capacity building and tools to develop their business.
In this context, a concrete step is first to connect blue economy investors, enablers, businesses and innovators from Europe and Africa to build networks and identify possible business opportunities.
Connecting businesses and investors from Africa and Europe :
The EU is taking this important step via the organisation of the BlueInvest Africa event. BlueInvest is an initiative of the European Union that aims at boosting innovation and investment in sustainable technologies for the blue economy. BlueInvest Africa will be a major contribution to the development of the Africa-Europe partnership in the area of blue economy.
This event will take place under the high patronage of the President of the Republic on 7-8 September 2022 in Seychelles, a frontrunner in the area of blue economy.
The objectives of the BlueInvest Africa, the first BlueInvest event outside Europe, are to bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and enablers from Africa and Europe to generate concrete business opportunities and promote the African know-how, projects and initiatives in the blue economy sector.
The event includes :
- Pitching sessions to allow start-ups and organisations to present their innovative projects to potential investors
- Networking and exchange of best practices events
- B2B meetings providing an opportunity to investors and other stakeholders to request for a virtual meeting with pitchers via the Matchmaking platform.
24 pitchers from 14 countries have been selected further to a call for applications and will be presenting their projects in 5 areas, namely : Renewable energy and water solutions ; Solutions for circular economy on plastic & waste; Fisheries & aquaculture ; Solar power solutions; Apps & technology / Technology enabled solutions.
36 African countries will be represented either by pitchers or businesses and organisations interested in the networking events.
International Financial Institutions will also participate in the event.
Businesses and organisations interested to participate online can register on the following website https://blueinvest-africa-2022.b2match.io/