As part of its continuing efforts to help African countries improve their maritime security capabilities, International Maritime Organization (IMO) frequently works with other partners to help support their initiatives.
The United States, for example, leads two major annual maritime security exercises in Africa and one of these, Cutlass Express, is underway now (Feb 2018).
Cutlass Express puts special emphasis on encouraging different agencies and different countries to work together, as envisaged in existing frameworks such as the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) – a regional agreement against maritime crime in eastern Africa, the West Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, which IMO helped to establish.
IMO is making a contribution to Cutlass Express with two training workshops being held at the DCoC information sharing centres in Mombasa, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (29 Jan – 7 Feb).
Both are designed to enhance inter-agency cooperation in dealing with maritime security issues at national level. This has been identified as one of the most pressing needs for the region during a series of “table top” exercises carried out previously by IMO.
IMO is also participating in a senior leadership seminar in support of Cutlass Express, highlighting the progress of the DCoC and the similar Yaounde Code of Conduct in building capacity, capability and co-operation in Africa to combat maritime crime and thereby help promote the “blue economy”.