By Mapenzi Kitsao

Sote Hub today launched the 2023 Blue Economy and Innovation and Investment Summit in a ceremony that happened at their premises in Nyali, Mombasa County.

The summit will be a week-long event from October 27th to November 3rd. It will tackle vital issues concerning youth employment and community problem-solving.

At the heart of the summit lies a resounding commitment to fostering a brighter future for the youth and addressing pressing community challenges. 

Jeizan Faruk, Chief Executive Officer/Board Secretary of the Mombasa County Public Service Board, affirmed the county government’s unwavering dedication to partnering with diverse organizations to achieve these noble objectives.

In his address, Faruq unveiled the summit’s central themes, which encompass discussions on climate change, the vast potential of the blue economy, and the critical importance of cybersecurity. Notably, he mentioned plans to launch multiple digital hubs throughout Mombasa County. This aims to empower the youth and provide invaluable growth opportunities.

“We encourage the youth to immerse themselves in these digital hubs and explore the boundless possibilities within the blue economy. By working collaboratively with the government, they can create opportunities to thrive and support their families and communities,” emphasized Faruk.

Furthermore, Faruq extended a passionate call to action, urging the youth to actively engage in digital hubs and seize the opportunities emerging in the blue economy sector. This proactive collaboration with the government is expected to yield a plethora of new avenues for progress and prosperity.

David Ogiga, the Director of Sote Hub, disclosed that the summit would cast a wide net, targeting university students, business professionals, finance-related organizations, and county and national governments. In a notable achievement, Ogiga proudly revealed that 70% of those training in the blue economy sector are women. “We intentionally directed our efforts toward empowering women, with participants hailing from diverse fields such as food production, tourism, fashion and design, and agribusiness,” he explained.

Despite the blue economy’s challenges, the Sote Hub has exhibited remarkable resilience and success. The hub has successfully trained over 300 individuals in the sector, granting them access to markets, connecting them with off-takers, and facilitating access to financial resources such as loans.

The event promises to empower the youth and forge solutions to the pressing issues facing communities. With the unwavering commitment of Mombasa County and its dedicated partners, a brighter, more sustainable future appears on the horizon, where innovation and the blue economy reign supreme.

The summit will feature participation from local hubs like TechBridge Hub, Close The Gap Hub, and Blue Economy Innovation Hub (BEI Hub). Partners for the event include The Aga Khan Foundation, Tech Ring, SlovakAid, and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).