Connect with us


Blue Economy for Revitalization of Oceans



Spread the love

By Ahmad Ibrahim

Oceans are custodian of life on planet Earth and have shaped human civilization since millennia. Enveloping over 70% of planet’s surface, oceans regulate weather and climate patterns. More than 70% of earth oxygen generation is undertaken by algae in oceans. Humanity has depended on oceans for sustenance, progression, and survival. The rapid growth in human population and subsequent increment of human economic foot print is straining our continental resources. The menace of pollution is damaging our planet, putting the human well-being and even existence in danger. This has necessitated restructuring the way we interact with our planet in general and oceans in particular. As humanity’s relationship with the ocean is getting increasingly demanding, therefore, new concepts are needed for revitalization of oceans in the way which is sustainable, progressive, and secure.

Blue Economy provides the framework for synchronization of economic prosperity with the sustainability of nature. First coined by Gunter Pauli, the lynchpin of Blue Economy is sustainability. It deals with sustainable use of oceans for improved livelihood and economic growth without compromising the ocean health. Blue Economic model has direct compatibility with five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) crafted by United Nations. These five SDGs include eradication of poverty (SDG-01), ensuring of good health and well-being (SDG-03), emphasis on innovation and infrastructure development (SDG-09), undertaking climate action (SDG-13) and safeguarding of life below water (SDG-14).

The potential of the Blue Economy is enormous. In 2010, the Global Oceanic Economy was valued at approximately 1.5 trillion USD, and by 2030, it is expected to surpass the 3 trillion USD mark. The net worth of Oceanic assets is estimated to be 24 trillion USD. Oceanic resources are vast but not unlimited. Therefore, sustenance of resources is essential. Blue Economy offers more reliable and credible alternative to traditional ocean based economic model. It deals with maritime economic professions like fisheries, resource extraction, marine transportation, and tourism, but within the bindings of ecofriendly regulations. Plus, it incorporates practices, like aquaculture/mariculture, blue biotech, and renewable energy production from oceans, for improving productivity while retaining minimum impact on marine ecosystem.

One of the fundamental pillars of the Blue Economy is the promotion of sustainable fisheries. In 2022, global sea food market was valued more than 257 Billion USD. It’s projected to reach 350 Billion by 2027. Overfishing is rapidly depleting fish stocks and is disrupting marine ecosystems. To address the growing demand for seafood and alleviate pressure on wild fish stocks, the Blue Economy encourages the development of sustainable aquaculture and mariculture practices. These modern fish farming practises involve raising fish stocks and other marine lives like aquatic plants in controlled environment. By adopting these practises on global scale, we can reduce our reliance on wild fisheries while ensuring a consistent supply of seafood. In parallel, aquaculture and mariculture have the potential of generating more financial revenue than traditional fish catching practises. Currently Global aquaculture market is valued approximately USD 289.6 Billion and is expected to reach USD 421.2 Billion by end of 2030.

The Blue Economy recognizes the vast potential of oceans as a renewable energy source. Offshore wind farming, tidal, and wave energy offer a sustainable alternative to carbon-based energy sources. In practise, offshore wind turbines are more efficient than onshore wind turbines. Horsea Wind Farm, located roughly 89 kms off the coast of Yorkshire, UK, is currently the largest wind farm in world. It can produce 1.3 GW of clean energy. By middle of this century, European Union is targeting to achieve 300GW energy generation from offshore wind farming. Similarly, it is estimated that 120-400 GW energy can be made available to mankind through tidal waves alone. The International Energy Agency’s calculations suggest that ocean waves are capable of producing 8,000 – 80,000 TW yearlyClean ocean energy technologies may have high capital cost, but by harnessing enormous power of oceans we will not only foster a clean energy transition but also fulfil our immense energy requirements for generations.

The Blue Economy encourages sustainable tourism practices that balance economic benefits with environmental conservation. The net contribution of global tourism and travel industry is approximately USD 5.8 trillion. Coastal and marine tourism constitute roughly half (50%) of net global tourism. These statistics proves that tourism is a major contributor to global economy, but its unregulated expansion can harm ecosystems. By promoting eco-friendly tourism, and marine conservation initiatives, we can create a positive feedback loop. Thriving ecosystems attract visitors, who, in turn, contribute to conservation efforts and generate revenue for local communities.

The Blue Economy also promotes marine biotechnology – a new technological sector. Marine ecosystem is predominately unexplored and has rich biodiversity. Marine organisms contain natural compounds which can be used for developing new products like biomaterials, biofuels, biomedicines, and other innovations etc. Many such bio products are already in use in the fields of health care, livestock, industrial manufacturing, and transportation. Moreover, this technology is now being used to enhance the productivity of aquaculture and mariculture. For entire marine biotechnology sector, it’s difficult to gauge its precise economic worth as it encompasses vast range of activities. Investing in research and development of marine biotechnology will not only drive economic growth but also contribute to the well-being of humanity and the conservation of marine ecosystems.

Since humanity is intrinsically tied to the oceans, it is in the individual’s best interest to act collectively to benefit from global commons. Such planning requires collaboration among local communities, industries, governments, and global organizations. Blue Economy has the potential to resolve our problems associated with economic growth and climate change. To protect and better utilize oceans in a sustainable manner, we must establish equilibrium – one rooted in true understanding of oceans and its relation with humanity. For that we have to periodically adopt sustainable fisheries, promote aquaculture, unlock renewable oceanic energy resources, harness marine biotechnology, practice responsible tourism, and implement effective governance. By bringing together our knowledge and efforts related to Blue Economy, we will be able revitalize our oceans and thus secure a better future. (1007)

Courtesy: Modern Diplomacy

Spread the love
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Inquiry on General Babangida’s Involvement in Conventional Banking despite Introduction of Islamic Finance in Nigeria




Spread the love

Dear Editor,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to express my curiosity and seek clarification on a matter that has caught my attention, specifically pertaining to General Babangida’s involvement in the conventional banking industry despite his role in introducing Islamic finance during the financial reforms of his military government in Nigeria. Vide your special article commemorating his 81st Birthday published in your esteemed news website:

It is indeed noteworthy that General Ibrahim Babangida played a pivotal role in shaping the economic landscape of Nigeria by introducing Islamic finance principles. It is fascinating to witness the implementation of Islamic finance in Nigeria, as it promotes principles that align with religious and ethical values. General Babangida’s efforts to introduce this form of finance were undoubtedly commendable, reflecting his commitment to establishing an alternative financial system that adheres to Islamic principles.

However, recent observations suggest his active participation in the conventional banking sector in Nigeria. Certainly, it is intriguing to see General Babangida’s continued involvement in the conventional banking industry, which operates under different principles. While some may argue that his involvement in both sectors is simply a matter of personal choice, it raises questions about the compatibility of his actions with the ideals and principles of Islamic finance. While the former is interest driven, the latter prohibits interest related transactions completely.

I wonder if General Babangida has ever publicly addressed this matter or explained his reasoning behind being active in both sectors. It would be enlightening to hear his perspective on how he reconciles his involvement in conventional banking with his efforts towards promoting Islamic finance. This has raised questions in my mind and perhaps in the minds of others as well.

I am keen to understand the rationale behind General Babangida’s dual engagement in both Islamic finance and conventional banking. Does this reflect a strategic approach to diversify Nigeria’s financial sector, or are there specific reasons behind his involvement in conventional banking despite advocating for Islamic finance principles?

Additionally, it would be interesting to explore the potential impact of his dual involvement on the perception and growth of Islamic finance in Nigeria. Does his presence in the conventional banking industry hinder the progress of Islamic finance, or does it have the potential to bridge the gap between the two sectors?

I believe that delving into these questions could provide valuable insights and generate constructive discussions within the Islamic finance community in Nigeria. By shedding light on General Babangida’s dual involvement and the potential implications, we can further enhance our understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by the Islamic economy in our country.

Thank you for considering my questions, and I look forward to reading more about this topic in your esteemed Focus on Islamic Economy.



Abba Musa Mamman Lagos


Spread the love
Continue Reading


10 Megatrends Shaping the World in 2024




Spread the love

The report, “Navigating Megatrends Shaping Our Future in 2024”, was launched during the first day of the World Governments Summit (WGS) 2024, being held under the theme “Shaping Future Governments” from 12th-14th February in Dubai. The report examines the indicators that shape these megatrends, supported by evidence from today as well as future expectations. These trends inform decision-makers and foresight experts about various sectors and the potential opportunities in each.

Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, said, “This report has been launched in line with DFF’s efforts to identify and communicate those trends with the most potential to shape opportunities and strengthen local and international partnerships to overcome current and future challenges.”

“The challenges that face us on our journey to the future require that we are agile enough to be able to adapt to rapid change. It is vital we pay attention to the signals we detect – only then can we be prepared to overcome challenges and seize opportunities. The World Governments Summit provides a platform for discussing these challenges and exploring the opportunities.”

Materials revolution

New types of materials will create a shift in the industry, with solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) such as biopolymers, biorefineries, and chemical recycling paving the way. These solutions will facilitate the development of new biological and novel materials that could rival plastics.

Boundless Multidimensional Data

Enabled by developments such as 5G and 6G in addition to advanced connectivity, the availability of raw data will vastly increase. The Internet of Things (IoT) will continue being deployed in healthcare, agriculture, and smart cities, especially in the Middle East.

Technological Vulnerabilities

The cybersecurity sector will boom amid a sharp rise in smart home devices and wearable tech. According to a report by Allianz, the annual cost of ransomware is projected to reach around $265 billion by 2031. Meanwhile, the debate on the future of decentralised finance will continue.

Energy Boundaries

Advances in tech and the growing demand for energy will drive the pursuit of alternative sources of energy. Novel materials and machine intelligence will enhance current sources of energy, including their distribution around the world – and in space.

Saving Ecosystems

Approaches to conservation will be more interdisciplinary and future-focused, taking into account both societal and environmental factors. Driven by resource scarcity, climate change, and shifts in social values, environmental impact management will become increasingly holistic.

Borderless World – Fluid Economies

The world is witnessing a rise in unmediated transactions in finance, health, education, trade, services, and even space, which are blurring boundaries and creating more cross-border communities. Advances in communications, computing, and advanced machine intelligence will accelerate the creation of a borderless world that will change the way we work, live, and connect.

Digital Realities

The spread of 5G and 6G networks will enhance the applications of autonomous technologies and IoT. As quantum technologies become scalable and reliable, immersive experiences will become even more realistic.

Living with Autonomous Robots and Automation

Robotics and automation will increasingly be deployed across industries beyond automotive, manufacturing and supply chain logistics. This will provide opportunities for efficiency and innovation, although there will also be ethical challenges to address.

Future Humanity

New workplace norms will emerge, with people needing to adapt to non-traditional skill sets in areas such as digital literacy, communications, culture and sustainability.

Advanced Health and Nutrition

Accelerated progress in advanced machine intelligence, nano- and biotechnology, additive manufacturing, and IoT will transform health and nutrition, improving health and wellbeing for people of all ages. Technology will reduce, if not eradicate, some communicable and non-communicable diseases and enhance the sustainable use of and access to water and food.

Spread the love
Continue Reading


Africa’s New Online Foreign Exchange System will Enable Cross-border Payments in Local Currencies – what you need to know




Spread the love

The high cost of making cross border payments on the African continent has driven governments on the continent to seek options of settling trade and other transactions in local currencies. This has given birth to the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System which was formally launched in Accra, Ghana, in January 2022.  Development economist Christopher Adam, who has studied the exchange rate policies of African countries, answers some key questions.

Why are African countries exposed in the international currency market?

Three main reasons. First, African economies are small and as such are highly dependent on trade with the rest of the world. Their exports are dominated by primary commodities including oil and gas, minerals and cash crop agriculture. On the import side, they purchase a whole range of goods – from essential commodities not produced at home such as fooddrugs and medicines, to capital goods and energy. A large proportion of these are sourced from China and other major economies of the global north. But because African countries are small relative to their trading partners they rarely have the power to determine the prices of imports and exports. They are “price takers” in world markets. And with world prices being set in the major reserve currencies of the world (the US dollar, euro, yen and renminbi), African countries are exposed to movements in these world prices. Second, “intra-African” trade is still a relatively small proportion of the total trade of African countries.

Finally, since African countries’ currencies mostly can’t be directly exchanged in international transactions, the dollar remains the most widely used currency in trade, even between African countries.

What’s required for the system to get off the ground?

The basic idea of the system is to be able to settle trade between African countries without having to use the US dollar.  There are two major challenges with that. First, intra-African trade accounts for less than 15% of Africa’s exports at present (although supporters of the African Continental Free Trade Area expect this to grow significantly over the coming decades). The African payment system therefore does not eliminate the role of the dollar (or other foreign currencies) in trade settlement entirely.

The second issue is that trade is not balanced between African countries. For example, Kenya exports goods of higher total value to Ethiopia than it imports from Ethiopia. If Ethiopia paid in its own currency, Kenya would end up with Ethiopian currency that it didn’t need. Some form of settlement currency that is acceptable to all is required – most likely the US dollar.

What are the challenges and potential risks?

Since trade rarely occurs instantaneously, some institution in the trade financing chain carries the exchange rate risk. Because of the gap between placing an order for imports and receiving them to sell in the local economy, there is a risk that the value of local currency will change relative to the currency in which the import is denominated.

In the “old” system, this risk is borne by the trader because everything is priced in dollars. The local currency value of the income from exports or the local currency cost of imports will change with movements between the local currency and the dollar, but the banks and those counterparts pricing in the dollar are protected.

Under the new system the same allocation of risk will remain in “external trade”. This currency risk is also present for intra-African trade.

An important question for the new African payment system is: who bears the exchange risk if one African currency depreciates relative to another? Should the importer carry the risk, or the exporter? Can and should the African payment system bear this risk of exchange rate movements itself? Where both currencies are volatile, traders might still prefer the relative stability of settlement through the US dollar.

The success of this system also depends on scale. The more trade settlement is routed through it, the easier it will be to settle in local currencies. Large currency imbalances will be less common. But until the system achieves this scale, the African payment system will need a strong balance sheet so that traders and participants can have confidence that settlement will be swift and risk free. It is unclear at the moment how this is to be achieved.

What is the best case scenario?

If the system can address the trade imbalance problem, provide clarity on risk management and reach scale, it could be very successful. But this is all going to be driven by underlying economic performance. Improved settlement will help but what is really driving this is the structure of trade. The more the economies of Africa can develop intra-African trade and the less dependent they are on extra-African trade, the less will be dollar dependence in trade. This growth in trade depends to some degree on trade settlement and trade financing but much more on production, consumption, trade policy and fiscal policy.

Christopher Adam is a Professor of Development Economics, University of Oxford

Spread the love
Continue Reading


Copyright © 2023 Focus on Halal Economy | Powered by Africa Islamic Economic Foundation