n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Four hubs of maritime insecurity off Africa : from anti-piracy to anti-crime?

Volume 29 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Piracy acted as a catalyst to heighten attention to a collapsing security landscape off East Africa. While piracy off Somalia became the arena to understand and respond to a dangerous threat at sea, the international community also came to terms with the reality that Somalia is but one maritime threat landscape off Africa. The longer term outlook gradually turned to good maritime governance of Africa's oceans to prevent and contain crime at sea. Maritime governance had to be uncovered and affirmed along Africa's coast and four maritime hubs off North, West, Southern and East Africa became focal points where good order at sea had to be maintained, or re-established. North Africa demonstrates how rapidly the sea becomes an arena for human tragedy through criminal practices. West Africa shows dangerous criminal cooperation to threaten important energy resources at sea, while Southern Africa reflects that good order at sea off Africa is possible. East Africa, in turn conveys the message that international cooperation of multiple actors goes some way in restoring order and driving back criminality at sea. The central argument remains that cooperation by multiple actors promotes maritime security through maritime security governance to maintain or restore good order at sea in Africa's littoral regions. Here the security focus must shift to fighting crime at sea, rather than anti-piracy.

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