February 11, 2024 (NAIROBI, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), through its Blue Economy project financed by the Government of Sweden (SIDA), organised a media training event in Nairobi, Kenya, from February 6th to 8th. The objective of this training was to enhance sustainable Blue Economy advocacy and awareness creation in the IGAD region, bringing together Blue Economy sector experts and journalists from all IGAD Member States.

Since Blue Economy is an emerging concept, in order to improve its visibility in the IGAD region and its contribution for socio-economic development, the IGAD Blue Economy Project, organized a 3 days media advocacy training from May 30 to June 1, 2022 in Nairobi. Following this initial training, the primary recommendation emphasized the need for a more deepened and practical communication training targetingBlue Economy experts and communication personnel from Blue Economy ministries and journalists across IGAD Member States.

The Director of Agriculture and Environment Division, Mr. Daher Elmi, on behalf of H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu,Executive Secretary of IGAD, highlighted in his opening remarks that IGAD Member States have a great Blue Economy potential that is overall under used. He also emphasized the potential of sustaining Blue Economy in livelihoods and job creation.

The training was officially opened by the Acting Fisheries Director, Mrs Luciya Akinyi Ouma, State Department for Blue Economy and Fisheries, Kenya. She stressed how the Government of Kenya is committed to sustainably develop the Blue Economy of the country. She mentioned that Kenya took the initiative to organize the first ever global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in 2018. Finally, she appreciated IGAD’s support through the SIDA Blue Economy project for the sustainable Blue Economy development in the region.

Trainees had mock practical sessions of live interview on how to focus on key messages, the application of the art of using bridging technique and handling ambush interviews or crisis situations.

At the conclusion of the training ended, the recommendations of the way forward are:

  • Participate actively in the IGAD Blue Economy Experts Platform social media group,
  • Public Relation Officers in the Blue Economy sectors to work closely with Blue Economy Experts to create awareness about Blue Economy
  • Journalists to work closely with the experts in the Blue Economy sectors to create mass awareness using media as a tool
  • IGAD and Member States to organize campaigns such as plastic pollution control to create awareness in the coastal and riparian communities.

The Training was held with financial support from the Sweden Government (SIDA) under the IGAD Project “Enhancing Blue Economy in the IGAD Member States for Biodiversity Conservations and Livelihood Diversification”.