9th Global Aid for Trade Review side event: Integrating blue economy trade into national development strategies for African SIDS and coastal nations

28 June 2024
09:00 - 10:00 hrs. CEST, Room D, WTO Headquarters
, Switzerland

African Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and coastal states have access to more than 30,000 kilometers of coastline along the Atlantic and Indian oceans, two of the planet’s largest oceans. African SIDS and coastal countries are endowed with vast and diverse marine resources that hold significant potential for sustainable economic development. 

The Blue Economy, encompassing sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and environmental health, offers a promising pathway for these nations to diversify their economies, enhance food security, and ensure resilience against environmental and economic shocks. To leverage this potential, African SIDS and coastal nations would need to overcome various challenges, including limited infrastructure, technology, and access to markets. Similarly, the integration of blue economy principles into national development plans remains a complex issue, requiring innovative policy frameworks, cross-sectoral collaboration, and capacity building. Aid-for-Trade initiatives, aimed at enhancing trade capacity and infrastructure, can play a pivotal role in addressing these barriers and fostering a sustainable blue economy.

This session aims to explore effective strategies for embedding blue economy trade into the national development agendas of African SIDS and coastal countries. It will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including policymakers, international organizations, academia, NGOs, the private sector, and community representatives, to share insights, best practices, and innovative solutions.


  • Highlight the importance and potential of the blue economy in driving sustainable and inclusive development in African SIDS and coastal countries.
  • Discuss challenges and opportunities in mainstreaming blue economy principles into national development plans.
  • Showcase successful case studies and innovative approaches to blue economy integration.
  • Develop a set of recommendations and action steps for stakeholders to advance the blue economy integration agenda.
  • Identify ways to enhance partnerships and cooperation among stakeholders to maximize the impact of Aid-for-Trade support in the blue economy.
UNDP; The African Union Commission; The Ministry of Economy of Sao Tome and Principe

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Africa Africa Small island developing states Small island developing states


Ms. Habiba Ben Barka