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Kenya to market maiden blue economy conference at the G7 summit

Kenya will be joining the seven economic powers at the June summit

President Uhuru Kenyatta will be utilizing Kenya’s participation in the 44th G7 Summit slated for June 8 and 9 to build momentum for the country’s inaugural International Blue Economy Conference in November.

According to Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, Amb Macharia Kamau, President Kenyatta's main focus will be addressing issues surrounding climate change, oceans and clean energy, which are among the eight thematic areas that have been identified for this year’s G7 Summit to be held at La Malbie in Quebec, Canada.

“Because the theme that Canada has chosen is oceans and because we had already taken initiative before they choose the theme, they’ve invited Kenya to be at the conference,” Amb Kamau said on Tuesday when he briefed news editors of the International Blue Economy Conference slated for November 26 to 28.

He said Kenya’s invitation to join the seven economic powers at the June summit was a demonstration of confidence in its development agenda.

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“We’re very excited about the G7 this year because they’ve sought to invite a handful of countries who they feel are begging to show signs of economic transformation,” he said.

Blue economy conference

The Summit will be graced by Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, President Donald Trump of the U.S., France’s Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italy’s premier Paolo Gentiloni, Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Britain’s Theresa May, and European Union Council President, Donald Tusk.

According to Amb Kamau, the foreign affairs ministry is seeking to raise between Sh 700 and 800 million to host the blue economy conference which unlike the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in July 2016, is not a UN-sponsored event.

He, however, exuded confidence in Kenya’s ability to host the event with at least 6,000 participants expected to be in attendance.

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A number of nations had expressed support since President Kenyatta announced Kenya’s intent to host a Blue Economy Conference to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 5 last year.

“There are many countries that are showing a keen interest to participate and we know our hospitality industry is up to the challenge to accommodate delegations attending the conference,” Amb Kamau mentioned.

Kenya is expected to use the blue economy conference to position itself to host the 2020 UN Oceans Conference. 

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