A Senior Lecturer at the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology in Lagos, Dr. Kayode Olubiyi has called for proper education of Africans on the wealth of oceans.
The don spoke on Saturday at a webinar to celebrate the African Union Day of Seas and Oceans with the theme: “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean”. Organised by the Ocean Ambassadors Foundation in conjunction with Mundus Maris ASBL.
Olubiyi said that adequate understanding of the worth of the oceans would ensure that its $24 trillion worth of resources are well utilised.
Stating that if Africa can manage the various resources emanating from the ocean such as wildlife, beaches, movement of materials and goods from one country to another in a sustainable way, it will be to its advantage.
He said that the way the ocean was being treated in Africa was not healthy, noting that wastes generated from land pollute the ocean and lead to serious damage.
Proffering solution, the Don said “The way forward is that we must take decisions and work to having a Sustainable Blue Business Plan.
Olubiyi said that there should be a better way of waste disposal through recycling. while calling for the stoppage of the use of plastic bottles or polythene and also an end to dredging.
He said that Africans should see ocean as commonwealth that must be protected and utilised to generate power.
Speaking also, Dr Alban Igwe, a Director at the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), said that 38 African countries had the benefit of coastal water and should reap the opportunities that abounded on the sea.
Igwe spoke on: “Sustainable Supply Chain: Linking the African Coastal States”.
He said that opportunities abounded on the African sea.
According to him, Africa is the second largest continent and has 100 ports surrounded by 30,500km coastline.
The CRFFN director said that Africa should tackle illegal fishing worth $1 billion.
He noted that the continent’s 90 per cent import and export were by sea, adding that it had access to Atlantic, Indian, Mediterranean and Arabian sea routes.
He called for the development of the Blue Economy Road Map, creation of a regional blue centre in Kenya (East), Nigeria (West), Morocco (North) and South Africa (South), to help utilise the opportunities.
“We need to make progress by also investing in human capital, defining competitive strategy and setting realistic timelines and action plans,” he said.
According to Igwe, the supply chain is the right strategy in today’s world as it connects people.
He said that the strategy unleashed creativity, ensured effective utilisation of resources and connected dots for more efficiency.