3rd Sea Power Sumposium: Closing remarks by V Adm Mudimu

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…”we, as Heads of Navies and Coast Guards of the coastal and inland Navies of Africa, must speak with one voice to ensure we act in the spirit of the African Agenda and make the dreams of our continent and its people a reality”.

CLOSING REMARKS BY CHIEF OF THE SA NAVY VICE ADMIRAL JOHHANES MUDIMU AT THE THIRD SEA POWER FOR AFRICA SYMPOSIUM: CAPE TOWN ON 11 MARCH 2009
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, The Honourable Mr Ntuli, the African Union Representative, Mr Samuel Kame-Domguia, Chief of Corporate Staff, Lieutenant General Jansen van Rensburg, Chief of Finance of the South African Defence Force, Mr Rautenbach, Head of Communications of the Department of Defence, Mr Dlamini, Defence and Military Attaches, Fellow Heads of Navies and Delegates, Colleagues from the International Navies, Generals and Flag Officers, Partners and Friends from the Defence Industry and Media Representatives, Senior Officers, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I wish to now formally close this Third Sea Power for Africa Symposium that marked yet another milestone in working towards a clearer understanding of what we, the Heads of Navies and Coast Guards of the coastal and inland Navies of Africa, need to do collectively to eliminate the threats we face at sea by ensuring maritime security in our surrounding waters. A clearer understanding that we, as Heads of Navies and Coast Guards of the coastal and inland Navies of Africa, must speak with one voice to ensure we act in the spirit of the African Agenda and make the dreams of our continent and its people a reality.
Colleagues, before I reflect on the proceedings of the last three days and conclude please allow me to extend gratitude and appreciation to all those who contributed towards the success of this symposium.
In his absence, I express my gratitude to the Minister of Defence, the Honourable Mr Charles Nqakula who set aside a whole day from his busy programme to grace this occasions. His address outlined the importance of stability and security and our government`s willingness to foster good relations and co-operation with the countries of the continent and the world. 
My deepest appreciation is extended to the Heads of Navies, Coast Guards and Marine Forces of Africa and their delegations for attending this symposium and displaying their commitment and dedication towards promoting collective and mutual co-operation between our Navies.
I express my gratitude to the representatives of the international Navies, military and defence attaches for being present and hereby demonstrating their interest and willingness to assist us in overcoming the challenges we are confronted with on our continent. 
My appreciation is extended to the external and internal government, non-government and institutional authorities that participated and through their experience imparted their knowledge to clarify issues under discussion.
I extend a special word of thanks to the four session Chairpersons and the appointed panelist who so professionally conducted themselves by assessing and providing valuable inputs regarding the topics under discussion during the proceedings.
Most importantly to the speakers that presented papers of the highest order that were thought provoking, informative and well researched, I congratulate and thank them for the major contribution they made to the success of this symposium. Their thoroughness was evident from the questions and discussions generated.
To Rear Admiral Teuteberg and his team, that so competently arranged this event, I say well done – you have made me proud. To the members of the -South African Medical Health Services, South African Police Services, the Metro Police, CTICC management and staff , the security personnel and VIP Protectors, seen and unseen I say a big thank you for your dedicated assistance. 
Thank you to Flag Officer Fleet, Rear Admiral Higgs for the excellent display and the maneuvers at sea where one of the newly acquired submarines, SAS QUEEN MODJADJI I displayed her capabilities, while the two frigates, SAS AMATOLA, SAS ISANDLWANA accompanied by the OPV SAS ISAAC DYHOBA displayed their capabilities and those of the Maritime Reaction Squadron.
I extend my appreciation for the attendance and participation of our Navy Reserve members, and in particular our Retired Flag Officers, Admirals Trainor, Bennett, Green, Honiball and Howell.
Colleagues, The papers presented throughout the symposium covered a number of key issues that require serious consideration and allow me to expand on them. 
The importance of the sea to the inland countries of Africa must be noted and it was felt they should contribute toward assisting the coastal Navies on which they are reliant for their trade.
It was pleasing to note from input by the African Union representative, Mr Samuel Kame-Domguia that maritime security has been placed on the AU agenda. 
He reported that draft documents have been widely circulated to all relevant departments for input. This progress bode well for maritime security receiving the urgent attention it deserves at the highest continental level. 
Dr Ngoma explained that no single country could undertake the leadership of ensuring maritime security, as this was a collective task for the entire continent. This emphasized the need for co-operation, collaboration, exchange of information, intelligence and co-ordination in a joint approach to eradicate prevailing threats that had been identified as a golden thread throughout the symposium.
We observed the ongoing concern that the maritime boundaries of Africa such as territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zones still pose a threat to countries in Africa where they are porous and not patrolled. In most cases the explanation is that resources are lacking, but the question was asked why there are resources to wage war but not to protect own interests.
The paper by Professor Gibson on legal imperatives clearly brought home the reality that legislation to deal with criminality at sea such as piracy is lacking and does not provide concrete exercising of the law to ensure the justified punishment of perpetrators. 
From examples raised it is disturbing to note that through these loopholes in the law that these criminals escape conviction or receive light sentences that are not commensurate with the crime committed. This shortcoming urgently calls for a resolution to be adopted.
Commodore Singh provided interesting opinions relating cost effective collaboration for the regional acquisition of patrol vessels. He explained that the Navies of Africa required an unsophisticated and indigenous vessel to fulfill their needs to patrol their waters. This is an option that should be our goal after being mandated by our political leaders and then considered for further processing.
Dr Wambua in his paper on enhancing regional maritime co-operation made the statement that one cannot treat a disease without medicine and a diagnosis is needed – in other words what is the role of the Navy, and do we make citizens and politicians aware of this need. He expanded on the vast marine resources found in the EEZ waters. We must therefore get the domestic laws right to ensure effective law enforcement in these waters and subsequently adequate protection of these resources. To achieve this harmony and co-operation between the regional bodies of Africa is a prerequisite.
The feedback provided by Admiral Fritzgerald on maritime progress within their areas of interest was appreciated and the progress being made with the Africa Partnership Station on the West Coast. His appeal for countries to provide personnel to assist in this initiative should be noted. He emphasised that all Navies face common challenges and that participation in the Maritime Safety and Security Information System was a collective approach in co-operation that will assist in overcoming such challenges.
The session on maritime training reported progress on collaboration with mutual training and striving towards creating centres of excellence. This is an environment where progress has been made and should receive continuous attention.
Rear Admiral Ibrahim`s paper on Patrol is to Control centred on the concern of the threats being faced in the EEZ waters and the need for situation awareness of the maritime domain. In his words a mind shift is needed to realize the importance of the maritime domain. He stated that Africa lacks the will to adequately invest in measures and structures in maritime security.
The paper on Hydrography presented today by Vice Admiral Palmer reiterated the importance of reliable surveying of our waters to ensure safe navigation by all mariners. 
This has been identified as a key area of co-operation in the adopted resolutions and capacity building is underway in our region.
The management of the EEZs was once again emphasized by Mr Kame-Domguia and this has been a concern expressed throughout the deliberations that must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
The feedback received from Nigeria, Tunisia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Kenya highlighted significant achievements regarding the implementation of the previously adopted resolutions. These include compliance with the ISPS Code, exercises, meetings and seminars being conducted, compiling of SOP`s and the exchange of instructors and students. The pressing concern that remains is the lack of adequate naval forces to provide sea power and thus ensure maritime security.
The feedback on maritime progress by the South African Maritime Safety Authority highlighted that the concept of sea power includes trade, ships and most importantly the Navy. It was further mentioned that South Africa only has one registered ship and that we should have three hundred – indeed a concern given the fact that we are an island economy.
During the feedback on progress in the areas of interest of France it was stated that it takes generations to understand the sea and maritime matters and that the importance of the sea is not always understood by our political masters. We have heard this on a number of occasions during the last three days and this should enjoy a high priority on our agenda. Germany emphasized the fact that you are only relevant if others see you as relevant. Once again another area that needs to be addressed. 
In summary I wish to highlight the focus points that were echoed during the last three days.
·        The will to empower the Navies of Africa is lacking. We as Navy leaders must collectively speak with one voice and impress upon our political leaders the need to invest in adequately equipped Navies to ensure maritime security in our waters and the eradication of threats.
·        Legislation to act decisively and effectively against perpetrators of crime at sea must be introduced at all levels.
·        There is a need to continuous promote co-operation, collaboration, exchange of information, intelligence and co-ordination for Africa to deal with its own threats.
·        The momentum of this symposium must not be compromised on leaving here. We as leaders of the African Navies must strive to pay full attention to authoring the adopted resolutions.
In closing allow me to just step back and beg the question, that can we boldly say, that after three days of serious deliberation whether we can assure our people that we managed to take a bearing from this symposium. 
Can they find a bearing that says because we are a lighthouse, we shall dream and do all things that will move us with confidence and courage to author a new maritime page in the African Agenda. 
To add a voice that speaks of sea safety for all mariners who use the sea, and our efforts to protect our national and international sea trade being conducted by all countries. 
Will we leave here having done all things that will arouse the spirit of those that were here before us and championed the cause of creating a better world, where all nations of the world can live in peace – where our seas are used to promote order and prosperity for all nations of the world.
 
Are we still dreaming of echoing the words of the former       President of South Africa, the icon of our people in the continent and the lodestar in the world of nations: ”who, in reflecting on liberty noted that “to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”. 
The freedom of the seas, and the effective use of its resources to enhance the expanding quality of life and liberty of our citizens are the obligation and the responsibility of our African Maritime Community”.
 
The critical and fundamental view after these deliberations will be the realisation, that by working together in fostering co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration, we shall succeed in our efforts to ensure security in the maritime domain and thus create a better life for all our citizens.
 
The South African Navy will therefore pursue the agenda of working with the Navies of the region and continent to accelerate the implementation of the resolutions adopted by this argots house – and in so doing shall be playing the role perceived and authored by us in helping to speed up the creation of the maritime element of the Africa Standby Force.
 
We shall continue to foster closer co-operation and strengthen the existing relations with other Navies in the international arena. We shall use the India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) initiative to help foster new relations with other Navies. Existing excellent relations between South Africa and her neighbours in the SADC shall be taken to new heights in the spirit of the Standing Maritime Committee.
 
The Memoranda of Understanding and bi-laterals with the USA, China, UK, France, Germany etc shall be used be used to help build the maritime awareness so badly needed in our Africa.
 
The brotherhood and sisterhood of the Navies of Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tunisia, Algeria shall be used to position Africa to an accelerated construct that will speak of an agenda that will take the African Navies to a new destiny, into a belief that working together we can support the NEPAD programmes and ensure that the Navies of the continent play their constitutional mandates and thus give hope to our people. The reliance by their citizens on their Navies must be unquestionable.
 
We shall pursue an agenda that promotes greater awareness in our inland Navies and landlocked nations about their responsibilities to the coastal states as contained in the International Convention of the Law of the Sea.
 
Colleagues, in the coming days and weeks we need aggressive communication with our principals to support the notion that in our beloved Africa, all nations are equal and cannot develop in isolation. Every coastal state, big or small is the answer to the need to build the Africa for which we yearn. 
 
An Africa that is free from piracy, drug and arms smuggling, human trafficking, poaching and sea robbery – an Africa free from illegal dumping of toxic wastes in our seas, rivers and deserts. 
 
An Africa that is accountable and responsible to its citizens.
 
An Africa that is strong and desirous like the steps of giants.
 
An Africa that can ensure that its minerals, agricultural, cultural, marine and all resources are used to give Africa a face of hope and prosperity.
An Africa that fosters and nurtures co-operative relations with the nations of the world.
An Africa that can protect, defend and feed itself.
An Africa that can take control of its sea and thus promote maritime awareness and security of its coastlines.
An Africa that can handle and address disasters in all spheres of human endeavour.
An Africa that can ensure that there is a greater integration and interoperatability of its efforts towards achieving maritime renewal.
Colleagues, as we bid farewell you must take note of the statements we have made in our opening remarks that there will be change after this symposium. It is up to us therefore acting individually and collectively with all hands on deck to ensure that our principals take this agenda and that it becomes a beacon of hope for the Navies of the continent. And in so doing we shall have ensured that the African renaissance is a lighthouse for a better life for all.
We have consulted with delegates and the collective proposal was made and accepted that Libya host the next Sea Power for Africa symposium in Tripoli in 2010. As soon as confirmation is received form Libya by the Chairperson this will be disseminated accordingly.
I trust that you have enjoyed your stay in the Mother City and had the opportunity to experience the hospitality of our Rainbow Nation. 
Tomorrow you will all have an opportunity to visit the historical sites and places of interest in the Fairest Cape. 
I hope you will all return safely home with fond memories and having reinforced old friendships and made new friends. 
Friends, as we part tomorrow let us always remember that reconstruction, development and the success of Africa and its destiny is in our hands and will be what we make of it.
I thank you.