Enabling thriving ocean economies through OceanHub Africa

Oceans play a crucial role in the global ecosystem, as they can absorb carbon dioxide, produce oxygen and store carbon. As stewards of the ocean, OceanHub Africa (OHA) recognizes this crucial role, and aims to guide businesses in developing practices that can ensure the long-term health and prosperity of our oceans. This makes OHA the first pan-African entrepreneurial support organization for the benefit of healthy oceans. In 2022, DGGF's Seed Capital and Business Development Facility (SC&BD) has partnered with OHA to further this stewardship. While DGGF supports OHA in refining their business model and scaling their reach to ocean-minded businesses across Africa, OHA also participated in the design and launch of the Ocean Impact Navigator Framework (OINF). 

Image: ©OceanHub Africa

The Ocean Impact Navigator Framework

OINF is an innovative approach to fostering sustainable growth in the blue economy sector. It consists of a comprehensive KPI database designed to strengthen the impact reporting of companies that focus on restoring coastal ecosystems while creating socioeconomic benefits for local communities. Developed by the 1000 Ocean Startups Coalition, OINF is designed to enable blue economy companies to align their operations with sustainability principles. It consists of 30 prioritized KPIs across six impact areas, to navigate the complexities of sustainable growth, focusing on environmental responsibility, social impact and economic viability.

Image: ©OceanHub Africa

Translation to practice through accelerator cohorts

As a member of the 1000 Ocean Startups Coalition, OceanHub Africa currently incorporates the OINF into the M&E efforts of its blue economy accelerator cohorts. Within each cohort, OHA works with participating companies to select 2-3 OINF KPIs on which they will report annually. As both the blue economy ecosystem and the OINF framework are still highly nascent, the implementation of OINF by companies will initiate the first broad-based substantiation of quantified ocean impacts in the private sector of developing countries, allowing both donors and investors to better assess the expected impact of blue economy financing initiatives.

Recently, OHA completed its third cohort. In this cohort, OHA has ensured that several participants are now able to track their targeted ocean impacts in line with OINF's international KPI standards. A great example of this is Kumbatia Seafood, a company that helps small-scale fishermen strengthen their capacity, market access and cold chain solutions. They now report annually on 1) the volume of seafood waste reduced (tons), 2) nutrient pollution mitigated (tons of nitrogen), and 3) GHG emissions avoided or reduced (tons of CO2e). Scrapays, which facilitates the processing of recyclable waste in developing countries as a business model, also now reports annually in line with the OINF framework. Hence, they include the volume of macro-plastic diverted from nature or landfill (tons), and GHG emissions avoided or reduced (tons of CO2e) in their reports.