Reports say the IMO has assisted in the strengthening of maritime security governance in East Africa by participating in two regional events during August: the Strategic Maritime Security and Blue Economy course (held 9-13 August) held in Kenya, and also the annual Cutlass Express event (26th July – 6th August), a United States Naval Forces Africa led, maritime security exercise conducted in the Western Indian Ocean.
For the Strategic Maritime Security and Blue Economy course, Kiruja Micheni, IMO project manager for the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) facilitated a module on maritime security governance. This focused on the establishment of the National Maritime Security Committee, the development of a National Maritime Risk Register and the formulation of a National Maritime Security Strategy.
The course was organized by the Peace and Conflict Studies School (PCSS) of the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC) and sponsored by the Government of Japan through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is designed to tackle the complex convergence of existing maritime security policies, implementation hurdles and the significance of an integrated approach to maritime security for the sustainable development of the regional maritime sector.
Attendees included senior officials from various stakeholder ministries/departments in Kenya, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
IMO also participated in the Cutlass Express maritime security exercise, which was held in Kenya, Djibouti and Seychelles this year. In addition to acting as one of the facilitators and assisting with planning, Micheni delivered a presentation on the DCoC and its Jeddah Amendment (JA) and its role in enhancing maritime security in the region.
The Cutlass Express exercise aims to improve regional cooperation in support of the DCoC JA, increase information sharing, promote Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), push for maritime interdiction and adherence to the rule of law, as well as counter-proliferation interdiction capabilities in strengthening safety and security in East Africa.
This year’s event was attended by representatives from Canada, Comoros, Djibouti, France, Georgia, India, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, United Kingdom, the United States, UNODC and IMO.