African ministers unveil policy to boost maritime security-Xinhua

African ministers unveil policy to boost maritime security

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-29 00:11:45

NAIROBI, June 28 (Xinhua) -- African ministers on Thursday launched the Regional Maritime Transport Policy for Eastern, Southern and Northern Africa to boost maritime security.

Salim Mvurya, Kenya's cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs, told a forum in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that the policy provides procedures to address emerging maritime security threats such as illicit drugs, piracy and armed robbery at sea by enhancing surveillance.

"The policy will help to foster a secure and safe maritime environment through regional collaboration and sustainable practices," Mvurya said during the third meeting of ministers responsible for shipping and maritime affairs of countries in eastern, southern and northern Africa.

According to Mvurya, the safety of the shipping sector is a key priority, given that ocean freight facilitates global trade by handling over 90 percent of worldwide commerce through the transportation of goods and resources.

Uganda's Minister of Works and Transport Edward Katumba Wamala said that the policy prioritizes increased investments by governments to expand satellite monitoring and technology for real-time threat detection.

The strategy will guide the region in addressing the scarcity of specialized search and rescue vessels and boats in navigable lakes, rivers and the Western Indian Ocean area, which undermines efficient rescue operations and often necessitates the use of unsuitable vessels, Wamala added.

Frank Museba Tayali, Zambia's minister of transport and logistics and chair of the Assembly of Ministers of the Maritime Organization for Eastern, Southern and Northern Africa, said that the policy proposes the establishment of a regional maritime security information-sharing platform to improve interagency collaboration.

Tayali also called for the formation of a task force to oversee maritime safety and security during pandemics, with a focus on vulnerable coastal regions, shared waterways and exclusive economic zones for blue economy exploitation.