SPEECH DELIVERED BY H.E PRESIDENT  FARMAJO AT THE BLUE ECONOMY CONFERENCE

I am enormously pleased to join this historic remarkable first conference on sustainable blue economy in this beautiful city of Nairobi.

May I commend and thank my brother President Uhuru Kenyatta for organizing this important conference that seeks to bring the tremendous opportunities of blue economy while conserving our waters for future generations.

Somalia potentially stands to gain the most from a robust and sustainable blue economy.

Somalia is a country of strategic importance, with a coastline of over 3,300 km which with the longest in continental Africa; and an upwelling zone which is one of the most productive in the region, offers endless potential for ocean-based industries and investments.

We have an abundance of untapped reserves, from fisheries and marine resources, to offshore oil and gas, and various minerals resources.

My administration recognizes that this largely unexploited resource-based can have transformative outcomes in addressing poverty, food insecurity, water shortages, energy needs, and unemployment challenges.

We are therefore developing a comprehensive strategy to tap and harness the full potential of sea-based economy in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Our Ministry of Port and Maritime Affairs, promotes to foster partnerships for development and upgrading of our geostrategic ports, promotes shipping, seafood industry, aquaculture, desalination and minerals development. And an equally robust ministry of Fisheries that is mandated to develop marine resources.

We are fully aware of the inextricable link between peace and security, and sustainable development.

The long period of conflict, has no doubt negatively impacted the growth and development of ocean resources in Somalia.

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen

As we discuss the potential for a sustainable blue economy, and the need for investment and industrial flows, it is imperative that we first address all illegal activities along our coastlines.

Unsanctioned exploitation of our marine resources by foreign fishing fleets; illegal charcoal trade to foreign markets; and dumping of toxic waste, have become some of the most serious environmental challenges affecting the Somali coast.

I hope one of the momentous outcomes of this historic conference would be a strong commitment to cooperate on controlling all illegal offshore activities

My administration will continue to actively seek international cooperation to address these issues.

We believe, with transparency and enhanced cooperation, and advances in technology and satellite capabilities, we should be able to curb these activities.

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Peace and security remains a top agenda for my government.

We are strengthening governance, heightening security cooperation for stability, including safe oceans and seas, and we are enhancing resilience to mitigate the harsh effects of climate change, and continuing droughts.

These efforts have begun to bear fruits with much interest in our ocean sector already being registered.

Excellences, I take this opportunity to commit that Somalia is ready for suitable and sustainable partnerships and investments to tap into our rich marine resources.

I thank you for your attention