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In light of the recommendations of the COP 27 Climate Conference, which Egypt hosted last November in Sharm El-Sheikh, Professor Dr. Abdelaziz Konsowa, President of Alexandria University, and Mr. Ahmed El-Wakil, President of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and President of the Federation of Mediterranean Chambers, inaugurated today, Wednesday the 11th of January, the first activity of the Greener Blue Economy Center at Alexandria University, a workshop held under the title "Sustainable Blue Economy Issues in the Mediterranean Basin Countries", in the Conference Hall at the Faculty of Commerce.
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The workshop discussed several issues on the concept of the "blue economy" and how to benefit from it in generating electricity from water energy, mining activities in the seas and oceans, marine tourism, fishing activities, extracting raw materials from the sea, and other forms of economic activity mainly related water resources.
The workshop was attended by Dr. El-Sayed El-Seifi, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Dr. Hassan Nadir Khairallah, former President of Alexandria University, Dr. Saeed Abdelaziz, former Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and former Governor of Sharkia, Dr. Hisham Arafat, former Minister of Transport, Dr. Sherif Hadara, former Minister of Petroleum, Major General Reda Ismail, Head of the Maritime Transport Sector, Dr. Alaa Ezz, Secretary of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Eng. Seif El-Din Abu El-Naga, Treasurer of the International Federation of Architects, and Mr. Islam Salem, from the Chamber of Commerce who specializes in maritime transport and logistics, as well as several deans of faculties and a group of economics professors at the Faculty of Commerce.
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Dr. Abdelaziz Konsowa, President of Alexandria University, confirmed in his speech that the idea of Alexandria University Center for the Greener Blue Economy came through the preparatory sessions for the COP27 Climate Conference hosted by Egypt in Sharm El-Sheikh, during which many discussions took place with Egyptian, Arab and foreign officials to present policies that support development and optimum utilization of available resources while reducing negative impacts on the environment. He added that Alexandria University, in cooperation with many academic bodies, experts and industrialists, has provided many integrated research projects that are applicable, to reduce pollution and greenhouse emissions, and support the conversion of projects into green industries, while emphasizing the need for financing from banks and investors, especially from countries that contributed more to pollution and thermal emissions. Dr. Konsowa pointed to cooperation between Alexandria University, Mediterranean universities, the General Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce and the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) to carry out many initiatives and projects that achieve mutual benefit through the Greener Blue Economy Center at Alexandria University.
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In his speech, Mr. Ahmed El-Wakil stressed that the blue economy is represented in the good management and optimal utilization of water resources and dependence on water to improve livelihoods through several activities, such as fishing and extracting raw materials from the seas while ensuring respect for the marine environment and biodiversity, noting that 480 million people live in 22 Mediterranean countries can be provided through the blue economy with diverse job opportunities that help to improve their standard of living. He added that the Federation of Chambers of Commerce is counting on the center established by Alexandria University as a safe haven for the blue economy, and he also explained that this workshop is the nucleus of several workshops during which economic and marine experts will be hosted for the benefit of members of the Chamber of Commerce and Commercial Chambers of the Mediterranean.
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Dr. Hassan Nadir stressed that Alexandria University can play a major role in the development of the blue economy, adding that the establishment of the center was an important step for the optimal use of resources in the Mediterranean, and that its launch from Alexandria stems from the regional and international role of Alexandria Governorate. He also pointed to the importance of preserving the Mediterranean Sea, as it brings together the countries of the Mediterranean basin. He also referred to the center's vision, through studying and researching water problems and integrating economists to form a powerful and effective force of scientists and researchers.
Dr. El-Sayed El-Seifi also welcomed the attendees, expressing his pleasure that the Faculty of Commerce hosted this event, considering it the starting signal for the launch of the blue economy in Egypt.
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Dr. Saeed Abdelaziz indicated that this workshop is the initial activity of the new "Blue Economy Center", established by Alexandria University in cooperation with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, which in turn works to "provide social and economic returns for current and future generations by contributing to achieving food security, eliminating poverty, improving the standard of living and income, providing job opportunities, safety, achieving sustainable health, security and political development, relying on renewable energy and recycling materials in order to ensure economic and social sustainability at all time." He indicated that controlling the blue economy is done through the use of management methods that are comprehensive and sustainable based on active participation in the community.
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