Maritime Development in Africa

Published 3 January 2010

The principal authors of the Paper are (Ret'd) Rear Admiral Steve Stead (formerly Deputy Director, The Brenthurst Foundation), Dr Knox Chitiyo (RUSI, London), (Ret'd) Captain Johan Potgieter (ISS, Pretoria), and Professor Geoffrey Till (King's College, London).

This Paper is prepared by The Brenthurst Foundation in partnership with the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa and the African Center for Strategic Studies in Washington DC.

Drawing on a series of specialists’ workshops conducted over the past two years in Africa, as well as current research by numerous international maritime experts, this Discussion Paper argues that Africa must develop its own maritime strategy – rather than ‘outsource’ most elements of its maritime security to international or external organisations – in order to promote continental security and enhance Africa’s economic development.

Key findings of the paper include:

  • The importance of maritime trade to African economies is widely under-appreciated within Africa; and the resources devoted by African governments to securing the continent’s maritime environment are wholly inadequate.
  • A formalised legal framework for maritime policy and strategy is required at continental level.
  • Africa must take the lead in controlling its own maritime domain.

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