2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (2014)
Source: Journal of Ocean law and Governance in Africa (iilwandle zethu), 2016, p. 202 – 242
Africa’s inland waters, oceans and seas are under pressure. Over the years, traditional maritime activities, such as shipping or fisheries have intensified, while new ones, such as aquaculture or offshore renewable energy, emerged. However, the rise in intensity of activities at sea is taking place against the backdrop of insecurity, various forms of illegal trafficking, degradation of the marine environment, falling biodiversity and aggravated effects of climate change. In the past decades direct aggregate losses of revenue from illegal activities in Africa’s Maritime Domain (AMD) amount to hundreds of billions US dollars, not to mention the loss of lives. The development agenda of the African Union (AU) promotes, among other things, human capital development and improved standard of living. It is inclusive and based on a human-centered approach to development where all social groups are engaged. The agenda sees an Africa using its own resources to take its rightful place in a multi-polar, inter-reliant and more equitable world. In the maritime domain of Africa, the wide variety of related activities are inter-related to some extent, and all have a potential impact on the prosperity derivative through their contributions to social, economic and political stability, and safety and security. Notably, therefore, the approach to regulation and management of maritime issues and resources cannot be confined to a few select sectors or industries. In developing this 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime (AIM) Strategy, it is recognized that the AMD has vast potential for wealth creation. So also is the realization that AU Member States have common maritime challenges and opportunities, and indeed, significant responsibilities for generating the desirable political will for implementing the Strategy. Accordingly, the 2050 AIM Strategy provides a broad framework for the protection and sustainable exploitation of the AMD for wealth creation. The Strategy is the product of cross-cutting inputs from African experts that includes Think Tanks, NGOs and Academia, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Mechanisms (RMs), AU Member States, specialized institutions and other important stakeholders such as Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), African Port Management Associations (APMA), Union of African Shippers Council (UASC), Maritime Training Institutions, all MoUs on Port State Control, the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Labour Organization (ILO), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Custom Organization (WCO), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Global Shippers Forum (GSF), International Hydrography Organization (IHO) and the private sector. It is structured to address contending, emerging and future maritime challenges and opportunities in Africa, taking into account the interest of landly-connected countries, with a clear focus on enhanced wealth creation from a sustainable governance of Africa’s inland waters, oceans and seas. The Strategy integrates an annexed Plan of Action for its operationalization with a clearly defined vision with achievable goals, including specific desirable objectives, activities and milestones towards attaining the Strategic End State of increased wealth creation in a stable and secured AMD.