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Delegation from the African Development Bank (AfDB) Meets with the Designated Minister who is Responsible for Fisheries and the Blue Economy

A team from the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group met with the Designated Minister and Minister responsible for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Mr. Jean-Francois Ferrari on Monday 24th April 2023. The main aim of the meeting was to discuss the mid-term review of the Country Strategy Paper 2021-2015.
Minister Ferrari was accompanied by Ambassador Kenneth Racombo, Principal Secretary of the Department of Blue Economy, Mr. Roy Clarisse, Principal Secretary of the Department of Fisheries, along with staff of the Department of Blue Economy.

During the meeting, Minister Ferrari had the opportunity to brief the delegation of the AfDB on the sectoral developments that have taken place in the fisheries and blue economy sector. He gave an overview and update on the status of the Blue Investment Fund (BIF), the Marine Biotechnology project, and the progresses in the field of Circular Economy.

Minister Ferrari mentioned that Seychelles sees much prospect in the field of Marine Biotechnology. Marine biotechnology entails the creation of products from marine organisms through the application of science. It entails research and development and is the technical base for the development of sectors such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food production. Marine biotechnology is a rapidly growing field with a wide range of potential areas for investment. Further to that, the Minister explained what the circular economy is for Seychelles. He noted that the circular economy focuses on keeping the same materials in use for longer by reducing, re-using and recycling unused or discarded items. This type of activity is centered on innovation and has environmental, societal and economic benefits for local communities. In addition, the Minister spoke on the efforts and steps the Ministry has taken to sensitise the public of the fisheries and blue economy initiatives and took an example on how the Department of Blue Economy has recently successfully worked with the Ministry of Education to integrate Ocean Literacy in the school curriculum.

The delegation of the AfDB expressed their content with all the work the Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy had effectively completed and were also intrigued with Seychelles’ involvement with the FiTI and the benefits it brings for the Fisheries sector. The Minister ascertained and reassured the delegation that Seychelles is proud to be a Member of FiTI as the government strives to remain transparent. PS Clarisse also added that being a Member of FiTI gives the country more credibility and promotes trust with the fishermen which in turn generates positive engagement with the wider community.

At the end of the meeting, Minister Ferrari thanked the delegation for their time and interest in the Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy. He added that he looked forward to future engagement with the AfDB to build on the partnership between the Bank and the Ministry. The Delegation of the AfDB concluded by giving their best wishes to the Minister and his team and hoped to work together in the near future.