EU's BlueInvest Africa Forum: Seychelles-based businesses to promote Blue Economy
Ocean Clean-up, an initiative to remove marine litter through clean-up dives and to sensitise fishermen and young people on marine pollution is one of the four businesses from Seychelles participating in the Forum. (Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority)
Four Seychelles-based businesses will take part in the first edition of the BlueInvest Africa Forum, a European Union initiative to promote the Blue Economy, that will take place in Seychelles on September 6-8.
The event will be held under the patronage of Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalwan, who was named as one of the two patrons of the Ocean Decade Alliance at the One Ocean summit in France in February.
The BlueInvest forum will bring together investors from Africa and Europe and African start-ups in order to generate business opportunities and promote the Blue Economy sector in Africa.
In an interview recently, Seychelles' minister for the Blue Economy, Jean-Francois Ferrari said that "BlueInvest Africa is that unique opportunity that Seychelles gets to bring all those entrepreneurs to Seychelles to share and exchange information in all sectors and sub-sectors of the Blue Economy."
He added that Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, was chosen as the venue due to its best credentials in the development of the Blue Economy, which is recognised by the European Union.
This was echoed by the EU Ambassador to Mauritius and Seychelles, Vincent Degert.
"Seychelles is recognised around the world for its commitment to the development of a sustainable, low carbon and high value-added Blue Economy that respects marine resources. Seychelles is a role model and a source of inspiration for public policies that are more firmly committed to the Blue Economy sector and promote innovative business opportunities within an African BlueInvest community," said Degert.
The four Seychelles-based organisations taking part in the forum are Seaweeds Seychelles, a processing plant for marine algae into organic compost for agriculture; Ocean Clean-up, an initiative to remove marine litter through clean-up dives and to sensitise fishermen and young people on marine pollution; Eco-fabrics that aims at creating locally made eco-friendly products to prevent microfibre pollution from textiles been released in the ocean; and Brikole, a new business processing fishing nets from industrial purse seiners into plastic items.
"Some of the Seychellois businessmen will be participating, maybe not as much as we would have liked, but it is their event, so we accept the opportunities that are given to us," said Ferrari.
In addition to the businesses pitching their ideas during the forum, which will also take place virtually, Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, will also have stands at the venue to showcase other Blue Economy initiatives such as aquaculture.
Twenty-two African countries will be represented in Seychelles by start-ups that have been selected to present their projects to investors from Africa and Europe in the major sub-sectors of the Blue Economy. These include sustainable tourism, blue energy, robotic sciences, sustainable aquaculture and plastic waste recycling and the fight against marine pollution.
BlueInvest Africa will offer selected companies a unique opportunity to network with financial institutions including international ones such as the European Investment Bank and the World Bank as well as private investors.
The two-day international hybrid event will also consist of site visits to Seychelles' Blue Economy projects, business to business meetings, exhibitions showcasing small-scale African projects and networking moments between participants which will enable them to meet a maximum of potential business partners.