The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking to raise between Sh700 and 800 million to host the country’s inaugural International Conference on Blue Economy in November.
According to Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau, the government will act as a guarantor of the conference which will be the first of its kind to be hosted in Kenya.
“We need to raise somewhere between $7 million and $8 million to undertake this conference and because it is not a United Nations conference, the government will be the guarantor,” he said at a media meeting with news editors on Tuesday.
Already, Kamau said Canada has sent $2 million to support the event set to be held in Nairobi from November 26 to 28.
“They have come and offered to have Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to work with President Uhuru Kenyatta to co-host this conference,” the diplomat who has previously served as Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN said.
Kamau said about 6,000 participants are expected to attend the event as a result of positive feedback received so far from nations across the globe.
He said a number of nations had expressed support since President Kenyatta announced to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 5 Kenya’s intent to host a Blue Economy Conference.
“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.
In mobilizing for support for the blue economy conference, PS Kamau on Monday met the United Nations Country Team to which he appealed for close collaboration towards the forthcoming conference.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma also separately met the Ukraine Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin, who is in the country of a four-day visit to mobilize for support.
With Kenya keen on creating partnerships towards the actualization of the Big Four Action Plan, the two diplomats agreed to put in place a framework to establish partnerships in areas of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing, and affordable healthcare.
While addressing UNGA last year, President Kenyatta had underscored the importance of not only harnessing the potential of oceans and promoting sustainable blue economy saying it was critical to achieving economic prosperity.
“Earlier this year, in June, all our countries attended the first ever United Nations Conference on Oceans in New York. Following the conference, we all came to better realise the pivotal importance of oceans and seas to our people, our planet and our prosperity,” he noted.
“Oceans, we now know, not only provide great value in maintaining life sustaining climatic conditions for all of us, but also provide enormous value in the form of the blue economy that can be tapped to help accelerate economic growth and fight poverty in all our nations,” President Kenyatta further pointed out.
Kenya is expected to use the conference on the blue economy to position itself to host the 2020 UN Oceans Conference.