Blue Economy Statistical System Account Developed

The COMESA region is set to benefit from the development of the Blue Economy Fisheries Satellite Account meant to help the region get appropriate data on marine fisheries and promote efficient use of fisheries resources.

Working with ECOFISH, a programme funded under the European Development Fund (EDF11) Cross Regional envelope, several Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have partnered to bring fisheries economic data closer to reality.

Among other issues, ECOFISH focuses on development of the blue economy fisheries satellite account (BEFSA) which aims at measuring the blue economy’s contribution to the national output. COMESA is the lead institution on this component and work has been ongoing on development of a framework.

To this effect, a regional workshop was convened in Nairobi, Kenya 22 – 23rd February 2022 to validate the draft framework of the Blue Economy Fisheries Satellite Account for Eastern Africa-Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region.

Speaking at the opening of the event, Secretary General Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe stated that under-achievement of the blue economy in COMESA and internationally has spurred a lot of work around development of frameworks that include this sector in narratives of sustainable development.

COMESA Member States on their part have recognised that regional integration without a deliberate targeting of interventions on the blue economy will not yield an all-inclusive developmental result.

“In COMESA as in the rest of Africa, information with regards to blue economy is scarce. For instance, to this day almost all fish captured is mostly subsistence and traditional artisanal and it remains without specific and socio-economic information to enable its sustainable management,” she said in a statement presented by the Head of Statistics at COMESA Secretariat, Mr Themba Munalula.

For that reason, under the productive integration pillar of the COMESA Medium Term Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025, catalyzing inclusive sustainable transformation of the blue economy is one of the key objectives.

COMESA will lead the statistical system initiative for the region, in partnership with the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), Lake Tanganyika Authority (LTA), Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO), East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), Southern African Development Community (SADC) as well as the Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC).