The following blog is by Phillip J. Heyl, chief of the Air and Maritime Security Branch in the Strategy, Plans and Programs Directorate, U.S. Africa Command:
I just returned from a Consultative Workshop to develop a Maritime Security Strategy for Africa. The workshop focused on the role of Maritime Security on economic development: Not only in deterring threats to security from illegal activities such as illicit trafficking in drugs, arms and humans, and illegal fishing, but also on the positive effects of effective port security and extractive resource security in the maritime domain.
This workshop was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the discussion was led by the African Center for Strategic Studies and hosted by The Brenthurst Foundation. The Brenthurst Foundation is a Johannesburg-based think-tank focused on African development. Included were senior military and civilian leaders from Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa. We were also joined by our partners from Department of State, DoD(policy), U.S. Naval Forces Africa, and Institute for Strategic Studies (South Africa).
The working group will report its recommendations for a comprehensive Maritime Strategy to the African Union by the first of April 2010.