Africa’s maritime security wish list

Improving security in the year ahead.

Africa’s maritime security wish list for 2015

By Timothy Walker, Researcher, Conflict Management and Peacebuilding Division, ISS Pretoria

2014 was an important year for African maritime security, and one of several improvements. For many, maritime security is synonymous with piracy, and the fight against piracy remains the most notable area of success.

The 2014 annual report of the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB-PRC) shows that reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea in African waters have continued to decline from 2011. This offers the encouraging thought that the threat is diminishing, and that improvement is likely to continue.

Given even these incremental advances, what do we wish to see in the African maritime domain in 2015? And how feasible might these wishes be?

This year, the number and severity of piracy and armed robbery incidents must continue to decline. The IMB-PRC recorded 55 attacks in 2014 – down from 79 in 2013 – in African waters or attributed to African pirates. Of these, 41 took place in the west, in the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean seaboard, and 12 occurred off the Horn of Africa or along the Western Indian Ocean seaboard.

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