From Green to Blue Economy: How the voyage began.

Not many recall that the concept of the Blue Economy, which has now become a serious and rapidly evolving development strategy, was born in Africa, in the Seychelles. It began as one leader's vision and now encompasses the world.

First, it was the 'Green Economy', and now we have the Blue. The 'Blue Economy' has become a buzz phrase denoting far-reaching socioeconomic and structural transformation ideals, aimed at uplifting livelihoods and bolstering economies.

Just how did it develop within a decade to become an in-vogue, adaptable concept, which has led many governments to reorganise and adopt it as a key administrative pillar?

Going back to its beginnings, the 'Blue Economy' narrative lifted anchor and set sail from Seychelles, the island nation deep within the Indian Ocean. Its originator and strongest advocate was the former President James Michel.

"Could there be a better name for what I was envisaging than the Blue Economy? It is clear in its meaning and easy to use, the allusion to colour draws one to the sea, while, and in contrast a complicated scientific term would not do," says Michel, who retired in October 2016.

"I liked the fact that people were already familiar with the Green Economy, and in that respect, the Blue Economy would logically become its counterpart one for the land and the other for the sea."

As early as 2008, the Seychellois leader had re-engineered his finance strategy and retooled his diplomatic service to leverage on oceans under the banner of the 'Blue Economy', seeing it as an anchor for economic development and a flag for the Indian Ocean archipelago's foreign policy.

"In just a few years, from as recently as 2012, the Blue Economy concept has emerged as the right idea at the right time. It offers a new frontier for human development," says Michel. "Nor is it limited in its potential, with the prospects of benefits for island nations, for coastal nations and for land-locked nations as well."

Twelve years after it lifted anchor, the Blue Economy has become a fashionable topic of Presidential speeches and a theme of many global summits.

"We were doing so many things right but something was missing. As I watched the waves break onto the beach, the answer gradually came to me. In fact, in its enormity it could not have been more obvious. The missing link was the sea itself. If only we could find a way to protect the oceans while at the same time, tapping into their hidden depths," recalls Micnel.

"Let us bring...

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