Press Release No263/2016 – AUC celebrates the 2nd version of the African Day of the Seas and Oceans with a call for better governance of African Maritime

African Union Commission (AUC) celebrates, Monday 25 July 2016, at the African Union Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, as the African Day of the Seas and Oceans, for the second time, under the theme “

Organised by the Commission , the event aimed mainly to put “Maritime Governance for Sustainable Development” at the center of Africa’s safety, security, economic and social growth under the global framework of AU adopted instruments such as the Agenda 2063, 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy and the African Maritime Transport Charter.

On behalf of H.E Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, AUC Chairperson, H.E Mr Erastus Mwencha Deputy AUC Chairperson in his keynote address said the aim of the celebration is to bring out the message that maritime governance for sustainable development is a united effort and shared responsibility for all.

He noted that the statistics of the maritime domain are baffling. If 60% of Africa’s economic activities take place on the African maritime domain, he wondered why there is such little implementation in maximizing Africa’s economic benefit from coast line activities?

He went on to outline a few challenges that Africa faces in this area: pointing out a lack of information on the significance of the maritime sector and the need for Africans to work together.

He further stressed that Africa is losing billions of dollars as a result of improper utilization of the seas and oceans and must therefore, work together to tap into all the resources available for Africans economy.

A message of support from the Co-Chairs of the Partners Group, Turkey and Sweden was also read out during the celebration.

The program for the celebration of the African Day of the Seas and Oceans 2016 featured a Panel Discussion where Panelists and participants exchange views on the role that Africa must play in international maritime forums and how the AUC can contribute in shaping international ocean governance in the UN, in other multilateral forums and bilaterally with key global partners, moving towards improved, more sustainable and better enforced frameworks. 

The Panel Discussion was moderated by Timothy Walker, Researcher, Institute for Security Studies. The Panel Members included Dr Edwin Egede (Senior Lecturer in International Law, Cardiff University), Captain Hannah Aggrey (WIMAfrica), Juvenal Shiundi (International Maritime Organization), Professor Adote Blim Blivi (University of Togo) and Stanley Raja Kwesi Ahorlu (African Ship Owners Association).

The Panel Discussion highlighted the achievements of the AU so far in the maritime domain, which include: adoption of the African Maritime Transport Charter, the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy) and adoption of the AGENDA 2063 and it’s 10 year implementation plan that includes the African Blue/Ocean Economy to boost sustainable and inclusive blue growth, with in dimensions as natural resources, energy, trade, development and security, among others. 

The main outcomes for the Panel Discussion included the urgent need for training and capacity building in maritime issues taking into account the principle of gender equity and the need for Member States to domesticate and implement the various instruments and policies adopted at the international and regional levels.

The event was attended by Member States, Governmental Authorities responsible for maritime sector, RECs/Regional Mechanisms, Non-African States, and African stakeholders in maritime and maritime related matters including: financial institutions and insurance companies; International specialized organizations, NGO’s, Development Partners, African and International private sector, and the African Diaspora.

Afrah Thabit | African Union Commission I E-mail: [email protected] I Tel: +251 (0)911 200922 I Directorate of Information and Communication

Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: [email protected] I Website:

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