MOMBASA, 15 November 2018 (PSCU): Kenya is keen on the sustainable development and utilization of water resources as a key economic driver.
Speaking during a media briefing at State House, Mombasa today, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena said that Kenya lays great importance to the sustainable use of her oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and marine resources to spur greater economic prosperity.
She said that between November 26th and 28th, jointly with Canada, Kenya will co-host the world’s first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference at KICC in Nairobi.
“By hosting the conference, we as a nation affirm our appreciation of the importance of conserving and sustainably using our oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and marine resources through enabling cooperation for shared prosperity”, she said.
The conference will draw over 7,000 participants from around the world to discuss how to sustainably maximize on the blue economy for development.
She said the Blue Economy is at the core of the Government’s Big 4 development agenda, the Kenya Vision 2030 and the President’s Jubilee Party 2013 re-election manifesto.
The State House Spokesperson said that as part of the broad Blue Economy strategy, President Uhuru Kenyatta will next week launch and commission a series of projects and initiatives in Mombasa geared towards bolstering the blue economy in the country.
The President will launch the Kenya Coast Guard Service that will be responsible for enforcing maritime security and safety, pollution control and sanitation measures as well as prosecution of offenders.
“The new service will also be responsible for port and coastal security, search and rescue, and protection of maritime resources, including fisheries”, she said.
She noted that over Shs 10 billion in revenues was annually lost due to illegal and criminal activities at sea.
Ms. Dena added that President Kenyatta will also commission MV Doria, a sea vessel that will be used by the Kenya Coast Guard Service to patrol the ocean.
She said the President will also launch the “Eat More Fish Campaign”, an initiative by the State Department of Fisheries that seeks to increase the dietary intake of fish in the country.
Ms. Dena said that the Head of State will also present the Bandari College Charter and commission the Kenya Sea Farers Programme.
On the President’s recent visit to China where he led a delegation of over 100 traders eyeing the Asian country’s fresh produce market, Ms. Dena said Kenyan fruit and vegetable exporters would start selling to the vast Chinese market soon.
“Very soon, Kenyan fresh produce exporters will be able to access the expansive Chinese fresh produce market starting with Avocado as the first crop followed by Macadamia then others,” she said.
She urged farmers, traders and other stakeholders in the fresh produce value chain to seize the huge opportunity arising from the agreement with the Chinese government.
She said that during the Global Peace Forum in France last week, President Kenyatta shared with world leaders the progress Kenya has made towards regional peace and stability especially in South Sudan and Somalia.
She said President Kenyatta also informed the world on Kenya’s progress in combating climate change and achieving her dream of migrating fully to green sources of electricity such as geothermal, wind and hydro by the year 2020.