Durban South Africa 1st November 2018 -Foreign Affairs CAS Hon. Ababu Namwamba arrived in Durban South Africa where he is leading the Kenyan delegation at the 18th meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers meeting. This is preceded by Committee of Senior Officials (CSO).

The India Ocean RIM Association (IORA) was formed in 1997 with an aim of promoting trade and economic cooperation among the Countries which share the Indian Ocean comprises of 21 member states, 7 dialogue partners and 2 observer groups. The IORA region controls  a third of World population. In addition, the Indian Ocean is the World third largest Ocean which carries one- third of World cargo traffic and two- thirds of World oil shipment.

During the meeting Kenya will drum up  for support   and participation of member Countries in the sustainable  blue economy conference which Kenya is hosting from 26th -28th Nov and also seek collaboration with member countries in enhancing maritime security along the Indian Ocean. Kenya Coast line is approximately 650 kms and spans from its border with Somali  upto  the Tanzania border.

The meeting will also be an opportunity for Kenya to renew and amplify the importance of blue economy in its development agenda and to fully exploit its potential. Kenyas blue economy contributes 178.8 billion to the Country GDP annually and unexploited potential if fully developed would grow Kenya GDP upto 430 billion annually.

The Council of Ministers will discuss pertinent issues of enhancing regional cooperation in the Indian Ocean region in line with the objective of IORA of promoting economic regional cooperation by ensuring sustainable exploitation of Indian Ocean Resources to provide maximum opportunities for development, shared interest and mutual benefits.