The Africa Blue Economy Strategy was endorsed by the 3rd Session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment of the African Union Commission in October 2019; having, identified development of the Blue Economy as a priority towards achieving the aspirations of the Africa Union 2063 Agenda.

At the regional level, IGAD developed a Regional Blue Economy Strategy and its Implementation Plan to guide the development of respective National Blue Economy Strategies, and also guide implementation of Blue Economy programs at national and regional levels. This aims at increasing cooperation and regional integration, and strengthening support to Member States to effectively translate policies into concrete actions. In the IGAD context, the Blue Economy (BE) encompasses both marine and fresh water environments. It thus translates to sustainable use and conservation of oceans, seas, coastlines, lakes, rivers, reservoirs, dams, wetlands and groundwater.

South Sudan has substantial natural resources including Rivers, Lakes, and Wetlands which comprise the Blue Economy resources and services. These Blue Economy resources have potential for socio-economic growth if developed and exploited in a sustainable manner. To realise the full potential of the blue resources and maximise the benefits for wealth creation within South Sudan, it requires that multiple linkages among Blue Economy sectors be strengthened through this Blue Economy Strategy.

Accordingly, the Blue Economy Focal Ministry in the Republic of South Sudan (Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries) in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; with the support of IGAD Blue Economy project financed by Swedish Government, organized three-day validation and adoption workshop of the National Blue Economy Strategy for South Sudan from 6th – 8th March, 2023 at Pyramid Continental Hotel in Juba, South Sudan.

The National Blue Economy Technical Committee comprising of representative from blue economy line Ministries, the academic, private sector, and members from the civil society deliberated on the draft strategy in the first two days of the workshop; involving review of blue economy sectors Strategic Objectives.

The sectors include: Fisheries and Aquaculture Development; Wildlife, Conservation and Tourism; Sport Fishing and Ecotourism; Environment and Forestry; Water Resources and Irrigation; Livestock Production; Renewable Energy; Transport (River Navigation); Mineral Extraction, Oil and Gas Industry; Gender Empowerment and Socio-Cultural Nexus and other emerging blue economy sectors and finalize the national strategy including preparation of report and communiqué.

This third day of the workshop is therefore, dedicated to Development Partners in the blue economy and the sector Honourable Ministers to reaffirm their contribution to blue economy sector development and for the Government of South Sudan commitment to Blue Economy development by adopting the National Blue Economy Strategy for South Sudan and the action plan 2023 – 2027.

The Vision, Mission and Core Values of the National Blue Economy Strategy are geared towards attainment of an inclusive sustainable Blue Economy which contributes to the socio-economic transformation and growth of South Sudan.

The overall objectives for the development of the national blue economy strategy is to uncover the potentials and opportunities that blue economy sectors would bring into the national economic growth. The Specific objectives include:

  1. Create awareness and advance knowledge to uncover non-traditional potentials of blue economy to enhance their contribution to the GDP of the country,
  2. Advance governance, cohesive coordination, identification, preparation and implementation of national blue economy activities,
  3. Build aquatic biotechnology and capacities for innovative research and development in blue economy,
  4. Advance the blue economy sectors for sustainable jobs creation, empower women and youth entrepreneurship to achieve food and nutrition security,
  5. Avenue for trade and technology transfer, replication of best practices and improvement of ecotourism along the River Nile.

Framework of the developed National Blue Economy Strategy identified three Pillars:

  1. Management and protection of blue resources to provide long term economic benefit to the South Sudanese through effective and sustainable exploitation of blue resources while ensuring healthy ecosystems and the protection of biodiversity.
  2. Structure governing promotion and development of blue economy including roles and scope for coordination and partnership among institutions, the private sectors including non-state actors.
  3. Innovative economic diversification of the blue economy sectors to promote innovative research that would contribute to food security, jobs creation and streamline best international, continental and regional initiatives

We, undersigned Hon. Ministers on 8th March 2023, hereby adopt the National Blue Economy Strategy of South Sudan (2023 – 2027). This Strategy will be the platform for inter-sectoral engagement and planning on development of the Blue Economy resources and related industries in South Sudan.

Finally, we appreciate the technical and financial support of the Swedish Government through the IGAD Regional Blue Economy project. And we the undersigned Ministers are committed to mobilize national, bilateral and multilateral resources for the full implementation of the Republic of South Sudan Blue Economy Strategy.