Maritime security in West Africa – sleeping with bended knees?

On 13 and 14 April 2016, the Turkish War Colleges Command hosted the International Sea Power & Security Symposium. The general theme of the event was “Collaboration for Maritime Security” and the organisers brought together military and civilian experts, academics and policymakers from a broad range of countries. My article about maritime security in West Africa is part of the conference proceedings.

Some more information about the event can be found on the website of the Maritime Security Centre of Excellence, hosted by the Turkish Navy.

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the event itself to present my paper on maritime security in West Africa. However, the article has been included in the conference proceedings. Since the proceedings are only available in a printed version, you can contact me if you are interested in reading the whole paper. This is the abstract:

Maritime issues in Africa have received additional attention in recent years. In 2014, the African Union adopted the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy, underlining the importance of the maritime environment for economic development. Providing security at sea is important to realise the potential of the ‘blue economy’.

Piracy off the Somali coastline has been the most headline-grabbing maritime security problem in recent years but similar issues in West and Central Africa were identified already in the early 1980s. Governments in the region have finally started to address maritime security problems, underlined by the Yaoundé Code of Conduct, adopted in June 2013. The document addresses a broad range of security challenges at sea, ranging from piracy to smuggling and illegal fishing. This article looks at some of the challenges related to the implementation of the code as well as the incentives for regional governments trying to tackle problems which have been overlooked for a long time.

I am looking forward to any comments and additional insights on the Yaoundé framework or other related topics so please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can also find out a bit more about my general research interests on this page.

Tags : African Unionblue economySeaWest AfricaYaoundé framework