BlueInvest Africa will take place in Seychelles on the island of Mahé on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 September. This is a business event, both physical and online, organised by the European Union in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Seychelles.
BlueInvest Africa will bring together for the first time entrepreneurs and investors around projects that can boost the African blue economy. Blue economy means all economic activities taking place in a marine or inland water environment, whether traditional, such as fisheries, tourism and transport, or innovative, such as biotechnology, aquaculture and renewable energy.
To mark the importance of the event, the opening ceremony will include statements by Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of Seychelles, and Charlina Vitcheva, Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the European Commission.
Bringing together entrepreneurs and investors
The theme of the event will be the presentation of 23 “blue” projects to a panel of investors and stakeholders present in Mahé and online. These presentations will take place during six thematic sessions spread over the two days. The ambition is to enable promoters of African ideas to find partners on this occasion to co-finance and develop their projects in practice.
Entrepreneurs come from all over Africa, mostly sub-Saharan, and have been appointed by a selection committee. They affect many types of activities. Among other things: recovery of fishery and aquaculture products, production of renewable energy, collection and recycling of plastic waste, etc.
These entrepreneurs received coaching for an effective and attractive presentation of their projects. The best of them will be rewarded by a prize, awarded during the closing ceremony of the event.
An African perspective on the sustainable blue economy
Between these presentation sessions, several meetings will allow participants to learn and exchange views on developments in the blue economy in Africa:
- Three TED speakers will come to talk about their experiences: the Capitaine Londy Ngcobo, founder of Global Maritime Youth (South Africa), Desiree Brouwer, founder of Nonzēro Africa (South Africa) and Diana Orembe, CEO of Novfeed (Tanzania).
- A field visit will make it possible to discover the new aquaculture centre, funded by the European Union, which acclimatizes wild broodstock for fish farms in Seychelles.
- A roundtable will showcase the scope and diversity of innovative financing mechanisms that entrepreneurs can benefit from in seeking investment.
- Breaks and snacks will take place as part of an exhibition of promising blue economy projects carried out by African micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
A context of sustainable development and inter-continental cooperation
“BlueInvest Africa is part of increased cooperation between Europe and Africa on ocean issues,” says Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, “for both the management of intercontinental maritime activities and the sustainable development of the blue economy. Because the blue economy has considerable potential for development, particularly in a continent such as Africa, which benefits from huge marine, lake and river resources. The challenge is sustainability, which is a prerequisite for the blue economy to become a permanent hub for innovation, recovery and employment, while respecting the aquatic environment and the well-being of local populations. ’
“Seychelles is happy to host an international and pan-African event such as BlueInvest Africa,” says President Wavel Ramkalawan of the Republic of Seychelles. “As a maritime nation, we are particularly proud to draw attention to the results of the sustainable development of the blue economy that we have been pursuing since 2018. Our aim is to diversify investments in tourism, but also to enable our entrepreneurs to realise the development potential of the archipelago, through innovation and knowledge-based approaches, bearing in mind the need to maintain the integrity of our marine environment and heritage for present and future generations. ’