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The Blue Economy Department Participates in the Innovation Ocean Africa Summit in Cape Town, South Africa

The Innovation Ocean Africa Summit was held in Cape Town, South Africa from the 20th-24th February 2023. The Department of Blue Economy of Seychelles participated in Summit and was represented by the Principal Programme Development Officer, Mr. Terrence Crea.

Ocean Innovation Africa is a platform that showcases African ocean-impact initiatives and brings together international change makers for the growth of a sustainable ocean economy. It also unites stakeholders of the ocean economy, demonstrates the economic viability of a decidedly more sustainable blue economy in Africa and it inspires ocean-conscious entrepreneurs and private investors to catalyse more partnerships.

During the four-day Summit, participants had the opportunity to attend study tours aimed at providing first hand experiences and to showcase innovation that inspire synergies and foster opportunities. 

The two-day tours focused on: Blue Food, Circular Economy and Outreach Programs. Participants also had the opportunity to go on field trips to learn more about the latest local technologies, startups and innovations that are being developed or ready for investments. Additionally, the partakers had the once in a lifetime opportunity to snorkel and dive in the kelp forest off the southern coast of Cape Town.

Throughout the working sessions, entrepreneurs from African countries could pitch their innovative business ideas which were conducted on circularity and how these can assist in the reduction of plastic waste in the environment, especially the ocean environment. Pitchers were awarded monetary prizes for successfully pitching their innovative business solutions to a panel of expert judges.

Moreover, a series of working sessions were also organised on the side to provide the opportunity for participants to engage and discuss on various topics, for example, the Great Blue wall, Small-Scale Fisheries Value Chains in the Context of the Blue Economy and Inclusive Innovation Pipeline Building. Furthermore, delegates were able to network through B2B meetings. This of course, helped to increase partnerships and collaborations between countries and businesses in order to catalyse investment and business opportunities.

It is expected that the summit will bring various benefits to countries in Africa, especially small island states, in a way that allows entrepreneurs to develop their circular economy business concepts through potential funding opportunities that will be pulled from various organisations.