Africa’s Blue Economy in Focus
A wide-ranging discussion during the "Africa@Nor-Shipping" event in Oslo, Norway (5 June) explored a host of topics related to unlocking the full potential of Africa’s blue economy.Three separate expert panels addressed competition among different maritime sectors, ocean governance and the importance of complying with international regulatory regimes, particularly International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s ship safety, maritime security and environment rules.Much discussion centred around viewing challenges as chances to grow, and the need to learn lessons from the past.
ECSA Meet on Somalia Operation
European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA)’s Maritime Security Working Group met with the EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta at their operation headquarters in Rota, Spain. Representing the European shipping industry, the ECSA delegation met with the EU NAVFOR's team to discuss the current state of piracy off the coast of Somalia. The delegation also visited the naval assets participating in Operation Atalanta.For the past ten years, EU NAVFOR has deterred and prevented acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia…
IMO Focuses on a Blue, Sustainable Economy
A full house at the IMO side event at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference has brought together experts in the maritime sector, trade and development.Member States of the African Union, United Nations agencies, national governments, regional and international development agencies, development and financial institutions, maritime professionals and experts, civil societies, port authorities, port management associations, shipowner and fishing vessel owner organizations, as well as relevant universities…
Focus on African Ports and Hinterland Connectivity
When a ship comes into port it may be the end of a voyage, but just the beginning of a range of administrative tasks that need to be completed.The port is unlikely to be the final destination for the cargo – which will need to be unloaded and forwarded in a variety of ways. This requires logistics and infrastructure that connects the port to other inland places and regions – known as ‘hinterland connectivity’. This was the issue under the spotlight at the first regional conference of The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) in Abuja…
The USD1trln African Maritime Industry Mulls Further Growth
The blue economy can be the engine of economic growth, the basis of socio-economic development and industrialization for many African countries, if well utilized.The maritime industry, for example, is estimated at over $1 trillion, and there are other related and emerging sectors of tourism, offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, seabed extractive industries, marine biotechnology and bio prospecting.Said Adejumobi, Southern Africa Director, UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said that the Economic Commission for Africa is fully committed to supporting the African Union…
Empowering Maritime Women in East and Southern Africa
Promoting women's access to quality employment and senior management level within the maritime sector is a key priority for International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s gender and capacity-building program and was at the core of the 8th regional conference to support the Association of Women Managers in the Maritime Sector in East and Southern Africa (WOMESA), held in Mahé, Seychelles (September 26 to 29). Under the theme "A Decade of empowering Maritime Women - What does the future hold for Africa's Blue Economy?"…
US Sees Piracy Increase off Somalia Tied to Famine
The United States is closely watching a recent increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. military official said on Sunday as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited an important military base in Djibouti. The rise in piracy attacks has at least partially been driven by famine and drought in the region, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa said during Mattis' visit as part of a week-long trip to the Middle East and Africa. The United States uses the base in Djibouti…
Working for Africa
International Maritime Organization (IMO) has contributed to the latest meeting of United Nations bodies working in Africa – the RCM-Africa forum. The forum, which held its 18th session in Dakar, Senegal (25-26 March), provides a platform for all UN programmes and agencies to share information about their work in the continent and coordinate strategies to support African Union programmes. IMO shared information about its technical assistance activities in Africa, which form part…
Suicide Bomb Kills 29 at Somalia's Main Port
A suicide truck bomb hit the entrance of Somalia's biggest port on Sunday, killing at least 29 people, police said, an attack claimed by Islamist al Shabaab militants. The fighters said they were trying to disrupt protracted parliamentary elections - part of efforts to rebuild the fractured nation after decades of war. The three-month vote is due to end on Dec. 29. Gunfire rang out after the blast at Mogadishu Port, Mohamed Hussein, a worker there, told Reuters. Two others said work had been halted and staff sent home.
IMO Supports African Maritime Summit
International Maritime Organization (IMO) is continuing its work to support sustainable maritime development in Africa by participating in the opening of the African Union Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa, held in Lomé, Togo (11-15 October). The Summit is addressing all aspects of maritime safety and security governance and is expected to conclude with the adoption, by African Heads of State and Government, of a Charter on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa.
Gulf of Guinea Piracy a ‘Deep Concern’ -UN Security Council
The United Nations Security Council on Monday expressed its deep concern over piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea, and stressed the importance of a comprehensive approach — led by States of the region, with international support — to address the problem and its root causes. Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2016/4, the Council strongly condemned acts of murder, kidnapping, hostage-taking and robbery by pirates in the Gulf, and underlined the importance of determining any links between piracy and armed robbery at sea, and terrorist groups in West Africa and the Sahel subregions. It encouraged regional organizations — including the African Union…
Somali Militants Seize Puntland Area Port
Somali al Shabaab fighters have seized a small port in the semi-autonomous Puntland region, the latest sign of a resurgence in activity by the Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa nation. A series of offensives last year by the African Union force AMISOM and the Somali National Army had driven al Shabaab out of major strongholds in the southern region of Somalia. At the time, officials said some al Shabaab fighters had moved north to the Puntland region, beyond AMISOM's area of operation. In recent weeks, al Shabaab has also retaken smaller towns and launched deadly attacks in the southern region. "Al Shabaab fighters with several boats captured Garad town," Hassan Mohamed, governor for Mudug region of Puntland told Reuters, adding that the attack took place on Monday.
ILO Wants Lasting Solution to Migrant, Refugee Crisis
The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, has called for a definitive and durable solution for the thousands of migrant workers who risk their lives in a search of a decent future. “Stopgap measures to halt the flows of migrants only scratch the surface of the problem. We need to go deeper into the root causes that force people to put their lives in danger in order to find work and security in foreign lands,” said Ryder. The overcrowded boat…
Obama, Leaders Discuss Possible Sanctions, Force for South Sudan
U.S. President Barack Obama and regional leaders discussed options on Monday that included sanctions and a "regional intervention force" if South Sudan's warring parties do no agree a peace deal by August 17, a U.S. official said. Obama met with leaders from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, and the African Union to discuss the crisis. The group agreed on the urgency of the situation in South Sudan but did not reach a consensus on what to do if a peace deal is not reached, the official said. (Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Ralph Boulton)
Malaysia Proposes Asean Peacekeeping Force for South China Sea
Malaysia is proposing a joint peacekeeping force to help rebuild trust among Southeast Asian countries after bitter arguments over their handling of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, reports WSJ. Members of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) — not all of which have interests in the South China Sea — have widely disagreed in recent years over how to deal with Beijing. The Philippines and Vietnam have accused China of aggressive behavior.
ISS Celebrates ISO Accreditation in M.East and Africa
Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), the world’s leading maritime services provider, is celebrating the awards of ISO 22000:2005 – Food Safety Management System and ISO 9001:2008 for the company’s supply chain operations in Dubai, Mombasa and Mogadishu. Ceremonies recently took place at its global headquarters in the UK and in its regional Head Office in Dubai. As a pre-requisite to fulfilling the requirements of a three year (plus two year option) contract with the United Nations to supply the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)…
Ashton Hosts Maritime Security Event
Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, hosted a meeting on Tuesday in Brussels at the European External Action Service, with a number of African countries, to examine maritime threats to Africa and to discuss areas of future cooperation. "The European Union is the main supporter of African efforts to develop capacity to manage security across the continent. Maritime security off the coast of Africa is a key issue of shared concern for both the EU and Africa and we share an interest in urgently countering this threat which undermines the social, economic and security fabric of the African nations affected," said Catherine Ashton.
EU Supports African Maritime Administrations
The European Union (EU) is funding a €1.2 million grant contract, signed between IMO and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) to support training and capacity-building activities aimed at enhancing flag State implementation and port State control in Western and Central Africa, with a view to upgrading the region’s maritime administrations and preparing its States for the mandatory IMO audit scheme. IMO will be executing the two-year program, identifying the individual countries’ needs in terms of enhancing their capacity to carry out their flag State responsibilities. There will also be a focus on port State control…
EU Outlines Fight against Piracy
Piracy in the Western Indian Ocean has been a growing threat to security, international shipping and development since the mid-2000s. While bearing all aspects of organized crime, piracy is a complex issue that can only be overcome by combining political and diplomatic efforts with military and legal action, development assistance and strong international coordination. With all these tools at its disposal, the European Union (EU) is in a unique position to contribute to international efforts, and addresses that challenge through a “comprehensive approach” tackling both current symptoms and root causes of the problem. The EU’s engagement in the Horn of Africa is defined by the region’s geo-strategic importance…
JW Fishers' Side Scan Sonars Key in Somali Port Mine Clearance
JW Fishers inform that Bancroft Global Development is using its side scan sonars to locate and make safe Somalia's harbor in the capital city, Mogadishu, which was heavily mined during the civil war in that country. Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) launched the Mogadishu Port Rehabilitation Project and assisting in this work is Washington-based Bancroft Global Development, an organization that receives some funding from the United Nations and the US State Department.
Delegates Call for Maritime Security Cooperation
Attendees at the IQPC Offshore Patrol Vessels Middle East 2013 conference agree that what happens at sea in the Arabian Gulf and the Middle East has implications that ripple, or more correctly rumble throughout the globe. Speakers and panelists underscored the importance of maritime domain awareness and security for military, commercial, legal and environmental reasons, and how they are all connected. The IQPC Offshore Patrol Vessel conference at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi is being attended by naval, coast guard, security, and other maritime and military professionals.
Republic of Benin Taps AdvanFort as First PMSC
Gulf of Guinea counter-piracy accord adds international ballast to company rebranding. AdvanFort International, Inc., a leading U.S. maritime security firm, has announced that the Government of the Republic of Benin has granted it permission—the first given by a West Africa government—to conduct counter-piracy operations for both domestic and foreign-flagged commercial vessels throughout Benin's waters. “It is with great pleasure that I can confirm that President Dr. Thomas Boni…
EU Designates €124 Million for Security in Somalia
The EU has announced that it will provide additional support of more than €124 million to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). This new financial support by the EU will cover costs including troop allowances for all AMISOM soldiers, police and civilian components of the mission, as well as operational costs of the mission headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. This support will be critical in allowing AMISOM to continue to fulfill its United Nations Security Council mandate to carry out active peace support operations across Somalia. Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development said, “A safer and more secure environment in Somalia will benefit the Somali people and development of the country as a whole.