Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande’s statement of commitment to the High Level Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy
Nairobi, Kenya, 26 to 28 November 2018
Your Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya;
Excellencies, Distinguished delegates;
Ladies and gentlemen
I greet you on behalf of His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, Our delegation would like to express its gratitude to the people of the Republic of Kenya for their warm reception and hospitality.
We welcome this initiative more especially that it is taking place in Africa. We trust that the outcomes of this conference will respond positively to the development agenda of the African continent to address issues of development, poverty and unemployment facing many of our countries.
Agenda 2063 of the African Union to which all African countries have committed themselves to, clearly articulates the significance of the contribution of opportunities related to the “Blue Economy” in existing and emerging sectors.
For what is at stake in the oceans, especially for developing countries including small island developing states, we must ensure a greater level of cooperation primarily to advance the interest of Africa and her future sons and daughters. Ocean economy must sustain coastal communities and in particular must empower women and youth.
With South Africa’s unique location, being bordered by three oceans, a lengthy coastline of some 3 900 kilometres and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 1.5 million square kilometres, we recognise the huge potential of our oceans space, to contribute to the broader economic development of our country.
In this regard, South Africa is already actively advancing sustainable ocean economy development, through our programme Operation Phakisa Ocean Economy to unlock economic opportunities. South Africa remains committed to 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development particularly Goal 14 together with accompanying targets to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.
It is a commitment we believe in and are willing to defend. We further pledge to work with the Republic of Kenya and other countries in collaborative manner to advance the sustainable blue/ocean economy.
I thank you