The Blue Economy has two major roles in Kenya:
- Harnessing of the potential of the Indian Ocean, Lake Victoria and all other lakes and rivers in the country with the aim to improve the lives of Kenyans.
- Put to use the current technologies, innovations and scientific knowledge to create prosperity while preserving water sources for future generations.
A conference was held on November 2018, hosted by Kenya, Canada and Japan in Nairobi and it was the first global conference on the sustainable blue economy. The conference agenda was to capture concrete resolutions and practical decisions that could be applicable today in aid to the sustainable development goal of the transitioning the world to a blue economy.
Potential Goals of the Blue Economy
According to the United Nations Development Programme, the blue economy has the following impacts on businesses in Kenya and the entire country in general.
- Employment Opportunities – For years since 2007, Kenya has experienced high unemployment rates of more than 10%. According to the Blue Economy Committee commissioned by the Kenyan president, maritime transport and human resource capacity building could be a potential area for high employment rates.
- Conservation Endeavors – Just like the green economy, the blue economy offers huge potential for conservation of the environment. The 14th goal of the blue economy is to conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources.
- Conservation of wildlife – There are more than 228,450 species of animals that live in marine habitats, from small rivers, seas, oceans and lakes. The blue economy is meant to ensure that despite the constant human search for resources, they do not endanger ocean life.
- Food Security, nutrition and health –More than 6.5% of the total amount of protein consumed globally is seafood. In some communities in Kenya, fish is the major source of food and a vital source of nutrition. Proper management of the blue economy is a direction towards assurance of food safety in the country.
- Shelter – A healthy ecosystem in marine areas assures a healthy ecosystem inland particularly to more than 40% of the global population living within a hundred kilometres from the ocean. In Kenya, many hotels which serve as accommodation for the booming tourism industry are situated along the oceans and lakes. The blue economy is meant to ensure the safety of such kinds of human habitats.
- Economic Growth – For public revenues and source of income, many regions within the ocean or lakes in Kenya predominantly depend on fisheries or tourism. Global projections indicate that aquaculture will continue growing in future and as part of the objectives of the blue economy, is to manage this growth to sustainable economic growth to these regions.
These reforms will capture the new opportunities and expand existing opportunities in Kenya. The regions situated in coastal or island regions will be able to get more prospects in the following areas.
- Tourism and recreational services – Examples of services such businesses could offer, include scuba diving, sports fishing and lodges, paddle sports and hospitality.
- Seafood from capture fisheries – refers to all kinds of harvesting of naturally occurring living resources in both marine and freshwater environments.
- Seafood from aquaculture – the farming business of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, and other organisms.
- Marine Biotechnology – often referred to as Blue Biotechnology and refers to the diversity found in marine environments in terms of the form, structure, physiology and chemistry of marine organisms, many of which have no equivalent on land, in ways which enable new materials to be realised.
Keywords: Blue Economy, Kenyan Businesses, Blue Economy Goals.