African states urged to fight piracy, improve growth of economies
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THE African states bordering the Atlantic Ocean have been urged to take ownership and responsibilities for the maritime safety and security domain and necessity to develop regional cooperation in fighting piracy and promoting trade.

The Comorian expert from Anti-Piracy Unit of the Indian Ocean Commission Mr Hassani Ahalada Soilihi said during the Maritime Security programme (MASE) for the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) region that States need to strongly be committed and foster close collaboration with other international organizations and operational agencies such as UNODC, Atlanta and Interpol to curb the situation.

“A country cannot address by itself maritime security issues. Regional and international cooperation are essential to effectively combat piracy,” he said.

The MASE was presented at the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean (COMHAFAT).

Held under the theme of “Maritime piracy off the African Atlantic coast: extent and approach for a more effective fight”, the workshop aimed at providing a thorough review of maritime insecurity issues and to get an overall feedback of the initiatives undertaken by each regional organisation to combat piracy.

Experts who represented their countries came from COMHAFAT, the African Union, the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), the African sub regional organizations (CCPO,COREP), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), universities and maritime training institutes as well as experts in operational fight against maritime piracy.

Furthermore, apart from sharing experiences, the meeting enabled participants to have an insight of maritime piracy in an economic, social and legal perspective.

The organizers also stressed on the fact that it was vital to implement adopted strategies and activate appropriate mechanisms to ensure safety and security in West African ocean.

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