Consultative Mission of the African Minerals Development Centre in Mauritius for the setting up of a Regional Centre of Excellence for the Blue Economy
The Board of Investment (BOI) is currently facilitating an inward consultative mission for a delegation led by the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) from 23rd to 25th August 2017. The main objective of the mission is to gauge the interest of relevant stakeholders on the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for the Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean region.
BOI hosted a half-day workshop on 23rd August 2017 that gathered some 25 representatives of the public sector and regional organisations. Ministries and institutions present included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, the Attorney General’s Office and the Ministry of Defence and Rodrigues among others.
The first part of the workshop was dedicated to presentations from the three members of the delegation as well as the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and BOI. The presentations from the delegates focused on the role and objectives of the AMDC, the recent publication of a policy handbook on Africa’s Blue Economy and the development of a marine cadaster for the pacific region that could be replicated for the Indian Ocean region. The delegates include Mrs Isabelle Ramdoo, Senior Linkages and Investment Advisor, AMDC, Dr Kaiser de Souza, Head of Geology Department, AMDC and Prof Elaine Baker, Representative of GRID Arendal and UNESCO chair in Marine Science. The second part of the workshop focused on Ocean Economy priority areas that are high on Government’s agenda and the identification of specific support that the centre of excellence could provide to further the growth path of these areas. Those priority areas identified by Government include Exploration of seabed mining, Fisheries and Aquaculture, marine biotechnology and port development.
In addition to the workshop, BOI organized a series of bilateral meetings for the delegation with key ministries during their three-day mission in Mauritius.
The AMDC is a specialised agency of the African Union, responsible to coordinate the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), which was adopted by all African Heads of States in 2009. One of the dimensions of the AMV includes geological knowledge, data and capacity support. In view of realizing this dimension of the AMV, the AMDC in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) have engaged the International Seabed Authority (ISA) (AMDC is an observer in the ISA) and Norway to provide specific support, through capacity building and geo-scientific information through the setting up three Regional Centres of Excellence to manage, coordinate and provide targeted support to member States in three regions of Africa.(i.e. North Atlantic, South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean).
The delegation will be capitalizing on this mission to create awareness on the importance of regional cooperation for a coordinated development of the blue economy as well as assess Mauritius’s potential for positioning itself as a host for this Regional Centre of Excellence.
25th August 2017