Nairobi governor Mike Sonko is campaigning for Nairobi to be made the headquarters of the blue economy.
He said Nairobi is a modern city that boasts of one of the best infrastructures in East and Central Africa.
“It serves as an economic and commercial hub, and a gateway to and from many parts of the world,” Sonko told delegates during the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference dinner at KICC on Sunday night.
More than 10,000 international delegates are attending the conference, which started on Monday at KICC in Nairobi.
“Due to the presence of many research centres, Nairobi continues to be a regional centre for innovative thinking and would play as a catalyst in creating a partnership role for the establishment of Sustainable Blue Economy headquarters,” Sonko said.
Kenya is the headquarters for UNEP and UN-Habitat.
“Nairobi is strategically placed and has played a key role in the maintenance of regional peace. The infrastructure exists for Nairobi to offer a global partnership that transcends geographical and political boundaries,” Sonko said.
“I, therefore, challenge the organisers of the Sustainable Blue Economy to seriously consider making Nairobi its international headquarters.”
Sonko said Nairobi was ranked the third-most innovative city in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 2018 Global Innovative Index.
He said the blue economy is an emerging concept which encourages better stewardship of oceans, rivers, lakes and all other water bodies- blue resources.
“Kenya is endowed with great catchment areas like Mount Kenya, Mt Elgon, the Aberdares and the Mau complex,” Sonko said.
Attendees at the dinner included UN-Habitat executive director Maimunah Mohammed, United Nations Office Nairobi director general Hanna Tetteh, Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma and Nairobi woman representative Esther Passaris.
Juma urged investors to put their cash in Kenya.
“A lot is happening in our country. Let’s all – locals and foreigners – invest in our great city of Nairobi,” she said
Passaris said she was glad that Nairobi was selected as the venue for the Blue Economy Conference.
“This is a big achievement for Nairobians. A lot is happening in our city; let’s explore the opportunities we have and continue developing our county. For the foreign investors, you need to look around because there are so many opportunities for you to invest in,” she said.