The blue economy presents a new vision for the maritime domain and is on the way to being a real engine of socio-economic development, stressed the President of the Regional Council of Dakhla-Oued Eddahab, El KhattatYanja, on Saturday, November 23, 2019 in Dakhla,
Speaking at the opening of the first edition of the International Seafarers' Forum, under the theme "Prospects for the Blue Economy in Africa", Mr. Yanja said that this economy is also a guarantee of sustainable and inclusive development, noting that the marine fisheries sector is the main source of socio-economic development in the region, accounting for 65% of national production.
This link contributes through the activities of all its segments to the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs and the injection of significant tax revenues for the benefit of the State and local authorities in the region and thus contributes to economic and social development and the improvement of the living conditions of the local population, he explained.
In addition, major maritime infrastructure and seafood and aquaculture development projects are being carried out within the framework of the integrated development program launched by HM King Mohammed VI, he continued.
The region currently has two active ports in Dakhla Bay, with another under construction in Lamhiriz in the south of the region, in addition to the planning of a new large port north of Dakhla on the Atlantic coast, the President of the Regional Council said.
This new port, for which works will soon be launched, will be of a new generation and will have a decisive impact on the reduction of spatial inequalities by structuring the regional territory in a sustainable and balanced manner, he maintained.
This new port infrastructure is likely to strengthen its comparative advantages and position its offer among the most competitive at the regional and international levels, by meeting the needs of future traffic linked to the lucrative activities of the productive sectors (fisheries, agriculture, energy, tourism, industry and mining), enabling it to be a real gateway for trade between Africa and Europe, he added.
In this line, Mr. Yanja stressed that the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region is endowed with a significant maritime capital of 660 km which gives it a clear competitive advantage due to its geographical position and the abundance of its natural resources, as well as the existence of infrastructure dedicated to maritime activities.
Likewise, he noted that this forum constitutes a platform for the sustainability of resources and sustainable development and reflects a common will for the rational exploitation of resources and coastlines, through the sustainable management of marine and coastal ecosystems.
This two-day event, organized by the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab Regional Council in partnership notably with the National Observatory of Seafarers and the Association for the Protection of Fishing Heritage, aims to consolidate and integrate the concept of the blue economy into the development strategies of maritime areas.
It also aims to contribute to laying the foundations for a blue economy approach based on the sustainable use and better management of aquatic ecosystems and marine natural resources, in addition to promoting cooperation among African countries with a view to developing a comprehensive and integrated maritime strategy for Africa by 2050.