The blue economy, comprising coastal and marine resources, offers vast benefits for sub-Saharan Africa: of the 53 countries and territories in the region, 32 are coastal states; there are 13 million sq km of maritime zones; more than 90% of the region's exports and imports come by sea; and the African Union hails the blue economy as the 'new frontier of African renaissance'.
Despite their importance, the region's coastal and marine resources have been neither fully appreciated nor fully utilized. They are only now being recognized as being key to Africa's potential prosperity. As the region grows, it has, in general, not taken adequate safeguards to protect these valuable resources. That is partly because some of the problems (pollution, for example) are regional and know no borders. All too often, short-term gains are made at the expense of the long term (overfishing, for example).
This book provides, for the first time, a study of the constraints and opportunities the blue economy offers for sub-Saharan Africa. It includes an introduction and overview; sectoral analyses (including tourism, fisheries, mineral resources, culture, shipping and maritime safety); country case studies; and analyses of regional and international efforts towards better coastal zone and marine management.