Angola’s ocean economy: Planning for more than oil

Angolan Minister gives interview

The Minister of Fisheries Dr. Victoria de Barros Neto supports Marine Spatial Planning in Angola, Photo: Rogério Mota

During a ministerial event on the IKI-project the Angolan Minister of Fisheries Dr Victoria de Barros Neto on 28th of April 2016 in Luanda, Angola, highlighted the important role of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) in diversifying the Angolan ocean economy. Dr Victoria de Barros Neto thanked the German government, represented by the German embassy in Angola, for its contribution to the Angolan effort in planning for development in the country’s ocean space.

Angola has a coastline of 1.600 kilometers and an extensive Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the South-East Atlantic Ocean. The country is known for its rich marine biodiversity and ocean-based oil producing economy. Its ocean territory forms part of the shared Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) with Namibia and South Africa that is known for its extraordinary productivity and unique biological diversity. The project “Conservation and Sustainable Use of the BCLME”, which is financed through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB), is supporting the Benguela Current Commission (BCC) and its member states in the introduction of MSP and in identifying and managing the region’s Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs).

Angola is one of Africa’s leading petroleum exporters. The country’s oil resources are the greatest gross domestic product factor. With the depressed oil prices, fisheries and other maritime sectors need to improve their performance to balance and diversify the Angolan ocean economy. Angola seeks to use MSP to harmonise the human activities while protecting the countries environment thereby aiming to maximise productivity in all sectors through the rational planning, management and governance of its ocean space and the sustainable use of Angola’s marine resources.

Besides the oil industry, fishery is one of the important production sectors in Angola which also contributes significantly to food security. Dr de Barros Neto emphasized the industry’s need for sustainable ocean environment during the event: “In order to achieve sustainability in Angola which considers the country’s socio-economic context and the ecological dimension, there is a need to plan and manage the Angolan marine area in a cross-sectoral and adaptive manner through MSP.”

The ministerial event was attended by 60 key officials from all concerned maritime ministries (petroleum, environment, transport and fisheries), civil society and the private sector. It is an important cornerstone in laying the foundation for the successful implementation of the IKI-project in support of the long-term sustainable use of the Angolan ocean and its marine resources.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is responsible for the implementation of the BMUB IKI-project in cooperation with the BCC Secretariat and the relevant ocean-related ministries of the three BCC member states. The project has a volume of EUR 9 million and runs until April 2020.