For the first time in the five years of Technical
Assistance, the WestMED Assistance Mechanism experienced a national Blue
Economy event in Libya on Nov 30th 2023. This was done upon the initiative of
the National Coordinators, Mr Ali Shagruni and Ms Masauda Abuarosha, with
the organization and support by the National Project of Aquaculture and
the assistance from WestMED’s Italian National Hub.
With the aim of gathering the main stakeholders of the Blue
Economy, the organizers could also rely on the participation of more than 60
operators in presence and of high level institutional representatives: the
Deputy Minister of Marine Wealth, Saber Al Azzabi, the Deputy Head of EU
Delegation to Libya, Horia Nagacevschi and the Deputy Ambassador of Italy to
Libya, Riccardo Villa.
Qualified speakers for the main sectors of the Blue Economy
could represent the current situation of the country in each field, also
disclosing their potential role of participants to the WestMED Technical and
Working Groups like Maritime Clusters Alliance, Green Shipping, Aquawest. Also
participants from Italy and Tunisia, intensified the international meaning of
this WestMED event, as a confirmation of the centrality of Libyan role in the
Indeed, beside a remarkable and frank interaction on topics
related to the fishery sector, the description of the opportunities represented
by the Technical Assistance provided by WestMED Assistance Mechanism and those
EU funded programmes accessible for Libyan stakeholders, was an important point
to encourage stakeholders to join partnerships and project proposals.
This becomes a fundamental way to increase the inclusion of
Libyan organizations in the Mediterranean ecosystem: the successful examples of
projects like REBUILD, TAMSALL, POWER4MED, MAWEGO were mentioned.
In this perspective, the participation of HORIZON EUROPE’s
National Contact Point for Libya was also an added value for liaising with
raising opportunities of partnership in the coming months.
It was commonly perceived the impression that, in this
phase, a more intense stakeholders’ engagement from the WestMED Assistance
Mechanism could easily produce fruitful results, given the very strong
expectations of Libyan stakeholders towards all forms of EU support.