Ghana hosted its first-ever National Blue Economy Summit on 31st May and 1st June 2023 in Accra, under the theme “Our Ocean’s Heath, Our Prosperity, Our Planet’s Security”.
The Summit was a collaboration between the SDGs Advisory Unit of the Office of the President, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ghana, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Summit aimed to raise awareness about the critical challenges facing our oceans and the immense opportunities they offer for Ghana’s transformation. The President of Ghana, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is also a member of a High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel), opened the Summit with a call for a renewed commitment from all stakeholders to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 to protect life below water.
He said that the ocean presents an incredible opportunity to accelerate Ghana’s development agenda and improve the well-being of its people. He also said that the ocean must be at the heart of all decision-making and urged for a new ocean agenda that integrates sustainable development, economic growth, and job creation with the long-term health and resilience of our oceans and coastal ecosystems.
The President proposed five agenda points to contribute to the sustainable management of the ocean: prioritizing sustainable management of the ocean through robust regulations; deepening strategic partnerships to enhance ocean health; ensuring greater and smarter investment in ocean management through public-private partnerships; investing more in research, technology, and innovation to address ocean challenges; and recognizing the interconnectedness of the global community and international collaborations.
A key output of the National Blue Economy Summit was a ‘Blue Outcomes 2023 Document’ that outlined a shared common vision for safeguarding the ocean and emphasized the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships. The outcome document also identified priority areas for action and investment in a more sustainable and resilient blue economy.