Supporting Africa's Blue Economy

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Overview

At the 2017 UN Ocean Conference, ISA registered a joint Voluntary Commitment to foster international and regional cooperation in support of the sustainable development of Africa’s Blue Economy (#OceanAction16374) in cooperation with the African Mineral Development Centre (AMDC) of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (since transferred to the African Union).

The commitment is being enacted through the Africa Deep Seabed Resources (ADSR) project implemented by ISA in partnership with the African Union and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). The ADSR project is funded thanks to grants received from NORAD (US$500,000) and the African Development Bank (US$25,000) as well as in-kind contributions received from the United Kingdom, Global Sea Mineral Resources NV and South Africa.

The ADSR project was officially launched at a high-level side event organized by ISA in partnership with AMDC on the side-lines of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, held in Nairobi in November 2018. 

All activities of the project are undertaken in close cooperation with States parties to UNCLOS, relevant international and regional organizations, and academia.

Regional workshops

A key component of the ADSR project lies in the organization of five workshops, one in each African region.

The ADSR project started with the organization of a first workshop in October 2018, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, which brought together representatives of francophone African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo)  as well as international and regional organizations, the scientific community and academia. 

A second workshop was organized in May 2019 in partnership with the Government of South Africa and the African Union in Pretoria. The Pretoria workshop provided the opportunity for 40 government representatives from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, South Africa and Zambia to attend and participate. Representatives of ISA, including members of the LTC, also attended, as well as those of the African Union (AU), the Office of Legal Affairs of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the United Nations Secretariat (DOALOS) and the Kingdom of Norway. Also, several experts from Africa were also in attendance. 

The third workshop took place virtually in June 2021. It was hosted jointly by ISA and Mauritius with the support of the African Union and NORAD and brought together key stakeholders and experts including official representatives from Comoros, Kenya, Mauritius, Madagascar, Rwanda, Tanzania, Seychelles and Somalia.

ADSR Experts

Another essential key component of the ADSR project consists in the deployment of 10 national experts, including five women, from African States within the Secretariat of ISA. The main objective of such secondments is two-fold. First, to build on existing capacity-building initiatives to provide national experts with technical skills on deep-seabed related matters. Second, to enable the ISA Secretariat to benefit from the contribution of such experts with a view to advancing specific tasks identified in partnership with the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC).  

The following experts were selected for deployment to the ISA Secretariat among over 50 applicants. Deployments were initially scheduled in 2020. However, due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, deployments will take place on a rolling basis. As of January 2022, five experts have been deployed.

Name Field of expertise Country Name Field of expertise Country
Ms. Judith A. OWUSU Geology Ghana Ms. Lucy NJUE Geology Kenya
Ms. Tini GUITOBA Ocean Policy Togo Mr. Michel DJIMGOU DJOMENI Ocean Policy Cameroon
Mr. Gerald MWILA Geology Zambia Mr. John Astony Mataro Geology Tanzania
Mr. Samuel POPOOLA Geology Nigeria Mr. Feuwo Nicodeme Noel Geology Cameroon
Mr. Godwin DIMIKE Ocean Policy Nigeria Ms. Linda Ansu-Kyeremeh Ocean Policy Ghana

 

ADSR experts 2020
Secretary-General, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, and ADSR Experts Ms. Judith Owusu (left) and Ms. Tini Guitoba (right) (2020)
ADSR Experts
Secretary-General, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, and ADSR Experts (L-R): Mr. Gerald Mwila (Zambia), Dr. Samuel Popoola (Nigeria) and Mr. Godwin Dimike (Nigeria) (2021)