Africa’s Ocean Innovation Summit

Next edition: November 18th and 19th, 2021

The Event - Africa’s Ocean Innovation Summit

Ocean Innovation Africa is a platform that showcases African initiatives and brings together international entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, businesses and leaders that are working towards creating a positive impact on our Oceans.

We believe that innovations led by science, technology and entrepreneurship will provide the necessary leverage points to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG),  at the right pace and scale. By addressing the issues of sustainable Oceans economy and Oceans conservation, our event seeks to find solutions linking up to almost all SDGs in addition to SDG14 – Life Below Water.


Our focus stems from a passion and the need for efficient, impactful action: at current pace, SDGs objectives would only be met by 2094 instead of 2030!  Oceans are the heart and lungs of our planet, it is crucial – and now urgent – to support the development and adoption of new sustainable ocean solutions that will shape better interactions between people and the Earth’s largest ecosystem.


In the recovery of the recent COVID-19-related crisis, Oceans have also a key role to play by keeping trade moving between nations and providing sustainable energy and healthy food for all.

By joining us you will be able to:

   Meet         Share        Connect     Discover



Bring together the thought leaders and stakeholders of the ocean economy, demonstrate the economic viability of a decidedly more sustainable blue economy in Africa and inspire ocean-conscious entrepreneurs



Showcase 1,000 African ocean-impact innovations over the next ten years, connect them to the world to support grow their impact



Innovations have the potential to deliver system level impact, substantially contributing to solving ocean pollution, ocean overexploitation and climate change, at a magnitude and pace matching those of the ocean crisis


November 2020

Online Virtual Event

Our 2-day 2020 programme with 60+ speakers are participating, from corporation executives, political leaders, ocean-minded entrepreneurs, and investors, to ocean conservationists.

Introduction from the V&A Waterfront

SPEECH | 5min

David Green


The African potential in the Blue Economy

KEYNOTE | 15min

Dr Drishty Ramdenee

Head of Department, Ocean & bio economy @Economic Development Board Mauritius

The need for early-stage private capital investment in the Blue Economy


Dennis Fritsch (moderator)

Project Coordinator Sustainable Blue Economy @UNEP FI

Maren Hjorth Bauer

Founder @Fynd Ocean Ventures

Christian Lim

Co-founder and managing partner @Blue Ocean Partners

Maelis Carraro

Managing director @BFA Global

Cerin Maduray

Investment analyst @WWF SA

Disruption in the fishing and aquaculture industry


Craig Smith (moderator)

Senior Manager @WWF South Africa's Marine Programme

Flavio Corsin

Director of Partnerships @Aqua-Spark

Serge Raemaekers

Founder @Abalobi

Francis Nderitu

Managing Director and Founder @Raino

Ernest Osundwa Were

Managing Director @DryGro

Disruption in the shipping industry


Captain Londy Ngcobo (moderator)

Ship Navigator, Africa's first female dredge master & Founder @Global Maritime Youth

Angelica Kemene

Co-founder and CEO @Optima-X

Tonye Membere-Otaji

Founder and CEO @MVXchange

Edem Dotse

CEO @Swiflty

Richard Stephenson

Member of Executive Board  @Gestion Maritime Group & Executive chairman @TonnEdge

Disruption in the ship-building industry


Bruce Tedder (moderator)

Chairman @SABBEX

Nir Gartzman

Co-founder @The Dock

Jasper Schuringa

Project manager innovation @Damen

Peter Shaw

Founder @OceanTrax


OceanHub Africa accelerator Demo Day


Géraldine Gandveau

Marketing and Communication manager @3DEXPERIENCE Lab

Beyond mitigation: innovation and funding opportunities for Climate Action – delivered by BFA Global

WORKSHOP | 60min

Open Q&A with investors

Q&A SESSION | 40min

Maren Hjorth Bauer

Founder @Fynd Ocean Ventures

Christian Lim

Co-founder and managing partner @Blue Ocean Partners

Bastiaan Hochstenbach

Co-founder & partner @E4EAfrica

Cerin Maduray

Investment analyst @WWF SA

Introduction from the French Ambassador

SPEECH | 5min

Aurélien Lechevallier

French Ambassador @French Embassy in South Africa

The need for collaboration in order to achieve objectives of SDG 14

KEYNOTE | 15min

Paul Holthus

Founding President and CEO @WOC

Building the pipeline of ocean-impact startups


John Dutton (moderator)

Head of Uplink @World Economic Forum

Ross Brooks

Investment Manager @Katapult Ocean

Rob Quartel

Founder and Executive Chairman  @NTELX

Forbi Perise Nyosai

African Regional Representative, @Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Kolisa Yola Sinyanya

Investment PhD candidate, Oceanography, @UCT

Kenneth Oguzie

CEO and co-founder @Africa Canada Trade and Investment Venture

Disruption in the marine renewable energies


Andrew Johnstone

CEO @Climate Fund Manager

Marius Hugo

Founder @Mean Sea Level

Luiselio Pinto

Consultant and founder @Krypton

Matthew Bray

Co-founder and CEO @Brayfoil

Francisco Boshell

Renewable Energy Markets @Irena

The role of governments and authorities in the Blue Economy developments


Richard Labelle (Moderator)

Consultant, Digital Economy, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Trade, International Development

Jon-Åge Øyslebø

Minister Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission @Norwegian Embassy in South Africa

Reuben Wambui

Africa Regional Coordinator  @UNEP FI

Kristian Teleki

Head @Secretariat for the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, Director @Friends of Ocean Action, and Director @Sustainable Ocean Initiative, World Resources Institute

Veronika Veits

Director in charge of International Ocean Governance @DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Dr. Mohamed Seisay

Senior Fisheries Officer @African Union Inter-african Bureau for Animal Resources

Disruption in the coastal tourism and ocean-sport industries


Nikita Kekana (Moderator)

Director @OceanHub Africa

Jean-Louis Rodrigues

President @EUROSIMA

Megan Morikawa

sustainability director @Iberostar Group

Jethan D'Hotman

Researcher @SmartFin

Sara Andreotti

CEO @Shark Safe Barrier

Lance Greyling

Director Enterprise and Investment @City of Cape Town

African Start-up Pitch Competition – supported by the French Embassy, OceanHub Africa, 3DEXPERIENCE Lab and AWS Activate


Applying SDG impact standards to the Blue Economy – delivered by UNDP

WORKSHOP | 60min

Susan De Witt

SDG Impact Associate @SDG Impact

Q&A with entrepreneurs

Q&A SESSION | 40min

Cape Town based networking session – sponsored by City of Cape Town

IN PERSON | 90min


Other Activities:

  • Corporate & startups virtual booth

  • B2B Matchmaking

  • Online Movie Screening

Access to the 2020 edition sessions

The event at a glance

Introduction from David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront

The African potential in the Blue Economy, Dr. Drishty Ramdenee

The need for early-stage private capital investment in the Blue Economy

Disruption in the fishing and aquaculture industry

Disruption in the shipping industry

Disruption in the ship-building industry

OceanHub Africa accelerator Demo Day

Introduction from Aurélien Lechevallier, French Ambassador in SA

The need for collaboration to achieve SDG 14 objectives, Paul Holtus

Building the pipeline of ocean-impact startups

Disruption in the marine renewable energies

The role of governments and authorities in the Blue Economy

Disruption in the coastal tourism and ocean-sport industries

Why attend?

Unleash the Power of African Ocean Innovators

We depend on our Oceans as much as they depend on us. “

Oceans are the life support of our planet. They drive our climate, provide food and water to all living things, and connect our continents. The annual value of the global Ocean’s Economy (formal and informal) is estimated at $2.5 trillion and was expected to grow substantially, doubling by 2030. However, our societies are already generating tremendous stress and strain onto these ecosystems and this vast untapped economic potential needs to be addressed in a radically more sustainable manner. We believe it is down to businesses to implement that change and up to us to promote more Oceans-conscious innovative businesses.

Africa offers a particularly high potential in terms of Blue Economy developments, paving the way to ocean community-based resource management and offering an ideal ground to test and scale impact innovation. Africa’s Blue/ocean economy – three times the size of its landmass – is on top of the continent political agenda and seen to be a major contributor to continental transformation and growth, through knowledge on marine and aquatic biotechnology, the growth of an Africa-wide shipping industry, the development of sea transport and fishing, etc. 

To embark on the journey towards sustainable development in Africa effectively means we have to reach the SDGs within the planetary boundaries. The development of the Blue Economy is an immensely important first step towards creating Sustainable Development pathways that enables this. The world is currently falling behind and not only have to “try harder”, but must embrace a disruptive transformation that innovative technologies and new business models can drive – otherwise development will stall.


Pitch competition

Who can apply?

  • Your start-up is ocean-minded: it has a direct or indirect positive impact on the oceans (addressing climate change, pollution or overexploitation of the ocean)
  • You are a for-profit and operate in Africa
  • You have a scalable service or product available on the market or soon to be available on the market
  • Your product or service is clearly innovative and/or your business model is disruptive

What can you win?

More to come for our 2021 event

Get in touch
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