Expectations are running high as the African Union’s Extraordinary Summit on Security, Maritime safety and Development in Africa approaches. The five-day conference will be held in Lome, Togo from October 10 – 15. West Africa, and the Gulf of Guinea in particular, have been plagued by a myriad of maritime security related issues, from piracy to armed robbery at sea which, albeit problematic, have been on the decline in recent years.
The summit seeks to address and explore means of making the maritime sector a profitable one for African economies. Most importantly, it aims to provide a much needed platform for African states to adopt a legal instrument stipulating measures to fight maritime piracy and other illicit activity at sea. We believe this could reinforce mutual cooperation and enhance solutions to the challenges posed by illegal and irregular migration against the backdrop of the ongoing migration crisis. However, enforceable legislation needs to be put in place as well as significant investment in naval security.