United Nations Global Compact

Africa’s Blue Economy: What Role for Social Sustainability?

Joining the new global rush for “Blue Gold” Uganda, a landlocked country, recently adopted its national blue economy strategy prepared with the support of the Africa Blue Economy (IGAD). From South Africa to Kenya or Cameroun, African countries, -as most States and regions around the world-, are encouraged to design Blue Economy frameworks, and other implementation toolkits, to grasp the economic opportunities offered by the extraordinary resources of oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes. As for Uganda, the Blue Economy concept is now extended far beyond the Oceans to cover all fresh waters as well as ground waters and associated resources. The African Union (AU) developed its Blue Economy Strategy from 2018 to guide sustainable development and the utilization of aquatic resources in the continent. It was endorsed, in October 2019, and is referred to in the strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of Africa over the next 50 years, the ambitious Africa 2063. Promoted as the new gold for Africa, the Blue Economy is presented by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as a tool for “both coastal and land-locked States” to “harness opportunities, which could yield mutual benefits, including the provision of efficient and coordinated services to each other as well as access to resources”.