ETHIOPIA ADOPTS A NATIONAL BLUE ECONOMY STRATEGY
By a Correspondent
The National Blue Economic Strategy of Ethiopia: 2023 – 2027, was launched at a validation workshop in Addis Ababa on December 18, 2023. The National Blue Economy Strategy was developed to guide the implementation of programmes for maximizing the use of its water-based resources. The strategy is part of the Blue Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (BESIP) being promoted by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional association of eight member states whose objective is to ‘to assist and complement the efforts of its member states in areas of peace, security, agriculture, environment, economic cooperation, and social development’.
Landlocked Ethiopia has experienced droughts and fluctuations in agricultural production over the years, and the Strategy is essentially a blueprint for sustainable deployment of its marine and aquatic resources in the implementation of specific interventions to turn things round. In the 10 years leading up to 2020, Ethiopia aquaculture production has risen from under 25 tons in 2010 to 500 in 2020.
The Minister for Transport and Logistics of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mrs. Dagmawit Moges, the Minister for Tourism, Mrs. Nasise Chali, and the State Minister for Water and Energy, Dr. Abraha Adugna, on 18th December 2022, signed the adoption document.
The document states that although Ethiopian aquaculture is currently ‘at an infantile stage’, with experimental ponds at some research stations and some farm ‘backyards’, Ethiopia’s rivers, reservoirs and lakes, climate, soil and cheap labour make it a suitable location for investment.
Regarding fisheries and aquaculture, the main objectives of the Strategy are to – optimize conservation and sustainable fisheries and the use of aquaculture resources – achieve full wealth generating potential for fisheries and aquaculture sector to optimally contribute to the blue growth – ensure sustainable social, economic, environmental, and equitable outcomes and human rights whilst safeguarding natural capital and blue investment. The strategy will be governed by the following ideas:
identification of potential water bodies that are proper for fish production and fish farming in the country – implementation of fish farming considering environmental protection, aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem as well as economically and environmentally beneficiary fish species – awareness creation for fish farmers and fishing communities – introduction and enforcement of regulations to check unsustainable fishing and overfishing – establishment of s a system that promotes utilization of fish resources in a way that enhances food security, processing and marketing of quality and clean products.