Maritime Security

  • African Approaches to Maritime Security

    Friedrich Ebert Stiftung-Mozambique | May 2013 Inspection of a fishing vessel Maritime rights, piracy, pollution, migration, and illegal trafficking of persons, weapons, and drugs are all growing challenges for many African states. The issue affects both communities living close to the sea as well as bilateral and multilateral relations at the international level. To safeguard their waters, maritime trade, and ocean resources, African states will need to build stronger and more stable security and judicial institutions. Working on solutions at the political level, especially with civil society support, is crucial to reinforcing security responses.

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    [Photo credit: MC1 Daniel Mennuto]
  • Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea

    By Chatham House | March 2013 piracy_guineaPiracy in the Gulf of Guinea accounted for 30 percent of all attacks in African waters between 2003 and 2011, and that proportion is increasing. Likewise, illegal fishing is also expanding. These trends directly threaten vital revenues from oil production and sea-based trade as well as a critical source of income and food for numerous Africans that depend on fisheries. To improve security and governance in shared West and Central African maritime domains, overlapping initiatives and multiple maritime regional bodies will need to be integrated.

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  • Toward an African Maritime Economy: Empowering the African Union to Revolutionize the African Maritime Sector

    By Commander Michael Baker, Naval War College Review | 2011 Africa suffers from fragmented maritime governance regimes, contributing to insecurity and lost development potential. For example, while some countries may make progress improving port efficiency, gains are offset by rising piracy – or vice versa. Through its ongoing integrated maritime strategy development efforts, the African Union should work in partnership with member states and international actors to align disparate African maritime laws and better integrate the continent’s five maritime early warning centers, among other improvements.

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  • Maritime Security and International Law in Africa

    110722-N-TY225-318By John Gibson, Africa Security Review | 2009

    Coastal states hold sovereignty over their territorial seas, but there are restrictions on governments’ ability to enforce criminal laws against foreign ships. For instance, distinctions between various criminal acts such as piracy and hijacking govern states’ response options. Effective use of maritime laws is essential to maritime security because they determine what nations may or may not do and provide mechanisms to facilitate cooperation.

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  • Investing in Science and Technology to Meet Africa’s Maritime Security Challenges

    moi By Augustus Vogel. Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 2011.

    A growing number of Africa's security challenges - narcotics trafficking, piracy, illegal fishing, and armed robberies, among others - take place at sea. Illicit actors exploit Africa's maritime space given its expansiveness and the limited number of vessels African governments can field to interdict this activity. Technology can dramatically improve Africa's maritime security coverage. However, to do so will require engaging Africa's scientists who can guide and sustain these efforts. This will yield not only security but environmental and meteorological benefits for the continent.

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  • Maritime Development in Africa: An Independent Specialists’ Framework

    2010_0803_kenya_cargo_ship_mBy The African Union Commission, the Brenthurst Foundation, and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies | 2010

    Africa’s maritime domain is a critical source of food security, the conduit for 90 percent of continental trade, and vital to its future growth. However, Africa is also the only major region lacking a maritime strategy. Readily available guidelines and legal frameworks should be integrated into Africa’s Common Defense and Security Policy to facilitate an African-led collective security strategy for the maritime domain.

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  • Navies versus Coast Guards: Defining the Roles of African Maritime Security Forces

    nigeria_navyBy August Vogel, Africa Center for Strategic Studies | 2009 Piracy, illegal fishing, and narcotics and human trafficking are growing rapidly in Africa and represent an increasingly central component of the threat matrix facing the continent. However, African states’ maritime security structures are often misaligned with the challenges posed and need coast guard capabilities and an array of intra-governmental partnerships.

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  • Bad Order at Sea: From the Gulf of Aden to the Gulf of Guinea

    2009_0120_piracy_somalia_bh_mBy François Vreÿ, African Security Review | 2009 Africa's western and eastern coasts host the world's highest number of attacks at sea. However, the nature of these maritime security environments differ markedly in terms of targets, levels of violence, and links to onshore politics. International response in East Africa has been substantial, but the mechanisms for maritime governance in West Africa in some ways bear more promise for sustainable security.

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