25 August 2014
South Africa, Angola and Namibia have signed and adopted the Benguela Current Convention, which will see the three countries working together on the protection and sustainable use of the Benguela Current marine ecosystem.
The ecosystem stretches from Port Elizabeth on South Africa’s coast to Cabinda in the north of Angola and is one of the richest on earth, supporting industries including offshore oil and gas production, marine diamond mining, coastal tourism, commercial fishing, and marine transport and manufacturing.
The agreement is a five-year strategic plan that aims to promote a coordinated regional approach to the rehabilitation, enhancement and sustainable use of the Benguela Current marine ecosystem in order to provide economic, environmental and social benefits.
Speaking after the adoption of the agreement in Namibe, Angola last Thursday, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said the agreement would serve as a platform for the three countries to find sustainable ways of using the mutual ocean space.
“The convention gives us all an opportunity to work together in addressing all these cross-cutting constraints that we face as member states of this commission,” Molewa said.
“We have tremendous potential to enhance our respective economies. It is therefore befitting to say that alone one can go fast, but together we can go very far.”
The agreement gains even more prominence in the South African context, as the country begins implementing Operation Phakisa, aimed at to fast-tracking the delivery of priorities outlined in the country’s National Development Plan, starting with an initiative that seeks to unlock the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans.