n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Combating threats to security in Africa's maritime domain : opportunities and challenges

Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



This article emanates from the recognition that there has been a long-felt need for an integrated maritime strategy for Africa at continental level. In response to that recognition the article traces the path followed, and contributions made, by some of the important plans and policies that culminated in 2012 in the formulation of the African Union's Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050. A point of departure for this article is an examination of the challenges in regional context through the existing regional economic communities. In addition, the emerging threats from Africa's maritime domain are also highlighted. Possible solutions to effectively deal with these threats are articulated in the light of the practical experience gained during the recent robust international action against pirates operating off the coast of Somalia. Problems experienced with vulnerable legal frameworks are also analysed and addressed with the intention of providing solutions, not only in order to successfully prosecute pirates, but also to apply the lessons learnt to deal more successfully with the prosecution of all the articulated forms of crime emanating from the African maritime domain. The challenges confronting the implementation of these solutions are discussed and analysed and possible ways of overcoming them have been formulated with recommendations. The article, in pointing out the shortcomings, argues strongly that all role-players need to work together for a solution. Firstly, in their own countries, and secondly, regionally. A final recommendation is made that all the relevant role-players be included in, and be party to, any bi- or multi-lateral Memoranda of Understanding negotiations between states with reference to safety and security issues in the African maritime domain.

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