The ISS (Institute for Security Studies) is the recipient of the African Union’s (AU) 2018 special award of excellence for its partnership with the AU Commission to promote Africa’s blue economy.
The award recognises the productive collaboration between the ISS and the AU now guided by a new memorandum of understanding signed recently between the two organisations. This agreement builds on 20 years of co-operation in promoting governance, peace and security in Africa.
The award was presented by AU Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at a gala dinner late last month during the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi. The award ceremony was attended by several heads of state, including President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
An estimated 18 000 people from 170 countries gathered at the conference to discuss protection and development of Africa’s marine resources. The continent’s oceans are three times the size of its land mass with fishing, trade, transport, tourism and energy recognised in the AU’s Agenda 2063 as major contributors to growth. ISS technical support and policy guidance moved the blue economy’s economic potential and security risks into the mainstream of continental policy and planning.
Accepting the award, ISS Trustee Ambassador Nicolas Bwakira said building a secure maritime domain was vital to African development. “Africa’s ocean economy holds the key to sustainable economic growth of the continent but we are just beginning to scratch the surface. The ISS is proud to be a key African partner in this effort.”
The ISS supports the AU Commission’s identification of opportunities for sustainable development of marine resources while protecting them from environmental and socio-economic threats. The ISS helps establish maritime institutions and implement Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) 2050, which includes youth and women participation.
ISS senior maritime researcher Timothy Walker supports AU maritime officials tasked with implementing AIMS 2050 and other maritime codes and charters. His research on African maritime matters is internationally regarded and impacts on maritime discussions and policy development by decision makers.
The ISS is consulted on maritime affairs by the UN, AU and its regional bodies. It also partners with the International Maritime Organisation to bring Africa’s voice into global maritime discussions.