Technology, Blue Economy on Seychelles' agenda at World Economic Forum meeting in South Africa in September
Faure met with the head of Africa at the World Economic Forum, Elsie Kanza, at State House on Friday. (Joena Meme)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Emerging technologies and the Blue Economy are key concepts that the Seychelles’ President, Danny Faure, will discuss at the World Economic Forum in September in Cape Town, South Africa.
Faure spoke about the two subjects during a meeting with the head of Africa at the World Economic Forum, Elsie Kanza, at State House on Friday.
The meeting was an opportunity for Kanza to share the work of the Forum with the President and discuss how best it can support Seychelles with its national and regional priorities, particularly related to the development of the Blue Economy, economic diversification, and inclusive growth.
Kanza also shared details on the upcoming regional summit.
In thanking Kanza and her team for the visit to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, Faure said he is looking forward to the regional summit.
As a champion for the Blue Economy for Africa, the head of state, who will be attending for the first time, expressed his commitment to continue being a spokesperson for the importance of ocean conservation and sustainable development.
Seychelles is a global leader in driving the Blue Economy agenda and Kanza said, “It is not just theory, Seychelles is a working model. Everyone needs to wake up and realize that the ocean is a beating heart of the world as people are not acting with a sense of urgency that it requires.”
The World Economic Forum is an international organisation with a commitment for improving the state of the world through business, academia, politics and society leaders. It is a non-profit organisation for public-private cooperation.
During the meeting at State House, the 4th industrial revolution and the impact it might have on the world was raised.
“This is something that is a key concern for the Forum. It is important to hold discussions on this issue as emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, blockchain are fast transforming how we live and work. It is important that Africa benefit upside of these technologies and to mitigate the downside,” said Kanza.
The two leaders also touched upon complex issues that are facing societies and Kanza said that the Forum is taking a multi-stakeholder approach to that.
“One example at the moment is with respect to the environmental stewardship, a global movement to remove plastic in the ocean because of their negative impact that it is having,” said Kanza.
Plastic is the main type of waste that is making its way to the landfill in Seychelles, according to several studies conducted. A ban on the importation of Styrofoam takeaway boxes, and plastic items such as carrier bags, plates, cups and cutlery came into force in January 2017. Seychelles has also banned the manufacture, importation and use of single-use plastic straws since June.
“We bring together different stakeholders to do something about it and to agree on how to work better to identify where there are gaps. We want to identify new thinking and models to solve problems and accelerate progress,” said Kanza.