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AU to generate 50% of Africa’s GDP from ocean resources–Official

The
African Union (AU) says it plans
 to generate
50 per cent of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by harnessing its
ocean resources in furtherance of its “Agenda 2063.”
The AU
Coordinator for Agenda 2063, Mr Simon Mabote, stated this in an interview with
the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.
“Under
this particular theme, we are talking about the blue economy; the ocean economy
– something that was always overlooked or we thought is given by nature to us.
“But now
we have refocused; we are saying what can the ship owners do? What can the
industry do to benefit Africans?
“We have
identified specific interventions – operations of ports and all other aspects
that you can get from the oceans.
“They
mentioned that the size of our oceans is three times the land area that we have
in Africa.
“And if
it is well-channelled, the continent can be out of poverty immediately.
“So, we
have specific goals and each of those, we have specific targets that are
assigned to member-states.
“We are
saying that one of the targets is that 50 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic
Products) should come from the oceans within the first 10 years of implementing
Agenda 2063.
“That is
from 2014 to 2023 and we are also saying the local ship owners should transport
about five per cent of the tonnage in the first 10 years.
“Vessels
built in Africa should account for about 20 per cent in 2023. So, these are the
specific interventions.’’
NAN
reports that “Agenda 2063’’ refers to the transformation agenda/plan adopted by
Africa’s Heads of States in January.
Mabote
said Africa would ensure that specific interventions in the maritime sector
afforded African ship owners the opportunity to participate in activities that
would help reduce poverty.
He said
that policy makers, the private sector, and wealthy businessmen were being
sensitised to tap into the “blue economy’’ so that ocean resources around
Africa would be developed for the transformation of Africa.

According
to him, the 50-year framework, which has been set up into five 10-year plans,
will be reviewed when necessary and refocused according to the challenges on
ground. 

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