COMESA at the Blue Economy Conference

Nairobi, Monday, November 26, 2018: COMESA is one of the participants at the first global Blue Economy Conference that began Monday, 26 November 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. Given its mandate of promoting trade and investments in the region, COMESA is jointly implementing the Maritime Security Programme (MASE) to ensure that its maritime domain is safe for meaningful economic activities.

In addition to COMESA, three regional organizations including the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), East Africa Community (EAC) and the Indian Ocean Community (IOC) are working together in the European Union funded MASE programme and jointly participating at the Blue Economy Conference.

COMESA’s component in the programme is to build the capacity of the member States to disrupt financial networks of pirates and their financiers. It is implemented through strengthening of the anti-money laundering regime in line with the prevailing international standards as guided by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Assistant Secretary General in charge of Programmes Dr Kipyego Cheluget led the COMESA team which include the head of Governance, Peace and Security Unit Ms. Elizabeth Mutunga and the Coordinator of the COMESA MASE Programme Ms. Dalisto Bonongwe.

In a presentation titled, Illicit flows and maritime insecurity, obstacles to economic and blue economy development made on the sidelines of the Conference, Ms Mutunga said over 70% trade to the region is done through the Indian Ocean hence the importance of maritime security to COMESA Regional Integration Agenda.

“COMESA Island countries and countries bordering the Indian Ocean have a strong reliance on the blue economy for their gross domestic product including fishing, tourism and potential for oil and gas exploitation,” she said. “COMESA support is to strengthen member states capacity to address illicit financial flows in maritime insecurity.”

In enhancing analytical capacity of Financial Intelligence Units in Member States COMESA has trained over 40 analysts in tactic and strategic analysis, and over 800 officials from various reporting entities including Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions.


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