Work to address maritime security challenges in Africa’s major maritime zones is underway at a regional workshop in Victoria, Seychelles (19-23 March).
Over 60 maritime security professionals from more than 30 States are attending the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) event, which is designed to emphasize whole-of-Africa solutions to the maritime security challenges faced in the Gulf of Guinea, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and the Horn of Africa.
International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Henrik Madsen provided an outline of two IMO-supported regional codes helping to address a range of interrelated maritime crimes and threats to security and development in Africa – the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, and the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa.
Speaking at the Seychelles event, Mr. Madsen underlined that development of maritime security in Africa must be based on a solid foundation at national level, saying that "The initial focus must be on developing capability, legal frameworks and inter-agency cooperation nationally as the foundation for stronger regional cooperation. It is therefore vital that the signatory States establish their own national organizations, legal frameworks and develop their capacity in order to benefit from the maritime sector".
Participants at the workshop are analysing key areas where their national approaches both align and differ, as well as identifying areas for collaboration. The workshop will help identify both the gaps between regions – including neighbouring regions – and the common elements that can be used to help close gaps and enhance maritime security.