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Centre of Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the University of the West Indies and the Association of the Commonwealth Universities will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the Centre of Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy.

The virtual ceremony will be held at the University of the West Indies Five Islands campus on Tuesday 19th January.

Present at the signing will be Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne who will be signing on behalf of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, Professor Sir Edward Byrne signing on behalf of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and Sir Hilary Beckles Vice Chancellor on behalf of the University of the West Indies.

Minister with responsibility for the Blue Economy, the Hon. Dean Jonas will also be present.

In October of 2020, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda gave its support to the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy at the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus.

The centre aims to advance intellectual progress and strengthen institutional capacity in the areas of marine science and the blue economy while capitalising on the economic opportunities for the Caribbean within this emerging sector.

According to the Honourable Dean Jonas, Minister of the Blue Economy, “Antigua and Barbuda is advantageously positioned to expand the offering of the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus in this area”. Antigua and Barbuda is one the largest economies in the Eastern Caribbean, has the largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the subregion and its geographical location makes it ideally suited to serve as the home and hub of the region’s blue economy efforts.

Antigua and Barbuda, as well as the Caribbean region, stand to benefit from an emerging industry worth USD$2.5 trillion through the diversification of the economy into areas such as aquaculture, marine renewable energy, biotechnology and sea vegetable farming.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Blue Economy Minister the Hon. Dean Jonas has been holding meetings with several organisations including the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme (CMEP), Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on developing a blue economy action plan for Antigua and Barbuda.

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