On 4/13/2010 3:53:41 PM Phillip J. Heyl, Chief of Air and Maritime Security in Strategy, Plans and Programs, U.S. Africa Command wrote:
I recently returned from the African Union (AU) sponsored Experts’ Workshop on Maritime Security in Addis Ababa from 6-7 April 2010.
The goal of the workshop was to generate discussion leading to specific inputs for the construct of a continental strategy for the African maritime domain. Illegal fishing, illegal dumping of toxic wastes, arms and drug trafficking, human trafficking, piracy, and armed robbery at sea were featured prominently in numerous presentations. The workshop succeeded in gathering a variety of experts who reached broad consensus on the need for a maritime strategy and continued emphasis on cooperative operations to enforce African maritime laws.
Safe, secure, and clean seas in Africa are of shared African and global interest. It was clear from this meeting at the AU that African military and maritime leaders recognize the importance of a secure maritime domain and are taking steps to address significant issues. For example, the AU’s Plan of Action for the Maritime Transport Charter accepted last October is an important move toward improving maritime security in Africa. Delegates at this meeting discussed the need for an overarching vision to tie the various individual countries’ efforts together regionally. African maritime security strategy led by Africans, supported by committed global partnerships, will benefit African economies and the global market.