Africa and the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles: Developments and Challenges

Authors Siqhamo Yamkela Ntola

ISSN: 2521-2583
Affiliations: Water and Environment Portfolio Manager for the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse
Source: South African Yearbook of International Law, 2017, p. 169 – 199


With South Africa being the latest African coastal state to receive recommendations from the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on its submission to extend its continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from its mainland territory, this article provides a comprehensive view of the claims to an extended shelf by African coastal states. As such, it highlights the additional access to non-living resources that African coastal states may enjoy in the region, and thus, among other things, the economic benefits that may ensue. The article also raises the challenge of delimiting maritime boundaries between states with adjacent or opposite coasts in light of claims to an extended continental shelf and provides a synopsis of the nature of maritime boundary disputes on the continent.