High-level representatives from African States, international organizations and experts on law of the sea, policy, mining, environment protection and geology convened at a regional workshop from 16 to 18 May, organized in Pretoria by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), in partnership with the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

It is the second workshop to be held to implement the Voluntary Commitment registered by ISA and the African Minerals Development Centre of the Africa Union at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference (#OceanAction16374), designed to foster international and regional cooperation to promote the sustainable development of Africa’s Deep Seabed resources in support of Africa’s Blue Economy (ADSR Project).

In his opening statement, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, ISA Secretary-General acknowledged the close and longstanding relationship between ISA and Africa.

“Since taking office in 2017, I have made it a priority for the Authority to seek to establish strategic partnerships with relevant international and regional organizations, such as the African Union, UNECA, the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), the African Development Bank and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie in order to better identify and respond to the specific needs of African States,” said Mr. Lodge.

In recent years, the wealth of natural resources, including living and non-living marine resources that are to be found in the oceans and seas surrounding the African Continent, has generated growing interest. In this context, the potential benefits that could be derived from the sustainable development of deep seabed resources located on the continental shelves and in the international seabed area could be a key driver for the development of Africa’s Blue Economy. This strategic linkage is clearly established by the African Union in its 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy and Agenda 2063.

Under the ADSR Project, five workshops will be held across the African continent between 2019-2020, one in each African sub-region.

For more information, including links to presentations from the event, visit the workshop webpage.

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