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Kwale County keen to tap into the blue economy sector

Kwale Governor, Salim Mvurya, has said his Administration is committed to integrating youth and women to fully participate in sustainable economic growth in the blue economy sector.

Mvurya said the County Government is determined to work with the National Government, development partners and other relevant stakeholders to enable more sustainable investment geared towards supporting the coastal communities

The Governor made the remarks when he held fruitful talks with German Corporation for International Development (GIZ) team led by Dr. Henrik Schmidtke.

The high-powered consultation centered on the vital role of the blue economy for sustainable development and promoting investment in the ocean frontier counties.

The team together with a representative from Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani (JKP) Secretariat paid a courtesy call on the Governor to deliberate on partnership areas in the Kenya Marine Fisheries Socio-Economic Project, in Kwale County.

“Together with the team we deliberated on areas of partnership in the Go Blue Project with key components being aquaculture value chain development, skills development as well as supporting micro, small and medium enterprises in the county,” he said during a press briefing.

Mvurya said sustainable investment in the maritime sector will help provide clean oceans, harness marine energy, manage fish reserves and promote tourism.

“The blue economy constitutes the maritime renewable energy, food from the sea, sustainable coastal and maritime tourism,” he noted.

The County Boss said the blue economy is a priority for Kwale, noting that they have been distributing fishing boats with nets and outboard motors, cooler boxes, flares, bond liners, GPS gadgets, life rafts, lifesaving rings and life jacket floats to fishermen in a bid to turn fishing into a profitable venture.

Dr. Schmidtke said GIZ will partner with the county government of Kwale on aquaculture value chain development, skills development, as well as supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the county.

He said sustainable investment in the blue economy will help promote tourism, create jobs and social progress for present and future generations.

The Kenya Marine Fisheries Socio-Economic Project (KEMFSED) was officially launched last week by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Mombasa and aims at promoting investments in the blue economy sector in the ocean frontier counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu.

The World Bank supported KEMFSED project seeks to create 60,000 new jobs in the fishing sector over the next decade and will benefit the counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Taita Taveta and Tana River.

Also present from the GIZ team were Aquaculture Expert Arnoud Meijberg, MSMEs Expert Brenda Nduta and JKP Secretariat representative Gladys Mnjama.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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