oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Twenty years of the exclusive economic zone in Africa: resource exploration and management

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Observers have noted that the push given by African States to the two hundred nautical mile maritime claims was the 'turning point' in the forging of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) concept. As often happens, one observer has written, the new African converts to the cause of broad claims became more radical than the original leaders of the cause they had adopted. 16 It is further significant that an African, FX Njenga, has been credited with the conception of the exclusive economic zone. This article sets out to examine how African states have grappled with their new-found rights and obligations in maritime practice, which until the mid-1970s, had been largely alien to African coastal states. The article shows that within the framework of their constraints, African states have made progress, particularly in fisheries. Available evidence shows, nonetheless, that when their efforts are viewed in the context of international developments in marine and maritime activities there is a long way to go before there will be any semblance of parity between African states and states on other continents.

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