Symposium opportunity to build maritime security

South African Navy says next week’s 3rd Sea Power for Africa Symposium is an opportunity for African and partner navies to build maritime security along the continent’s 35 000 kilometres of coastline.
Navy chief director of Maritime Strategy Rear Admiral Bernard Teuteberg says the conference, being held in Caper Town from Monday to Wednesday will provide a “platform to not only look at feedback regarding progress made thus far, but to explore subjects such as the legal framework for maritime security, cooperation, maritime training, maritime zones, hydrography, and many others.
The admiral added representatives from 31 African countries, 16 international navies and 17 shipyards and maritime vendors will attend the event first held in 2005.
“…the economic prosperity and human security of those who inhabit our continent, remains inextricably linked to the sea; and more specifically to the wise and controlled exploration of the sea, that we direct our collective efforts to ensure a maritime environment free from exploitation and misuse,” Teuteberg adds.
The navy strategist further adds that a key point will be taking decisions made at the 2005 and 2006 conference past talk. Resolutions taken are “management tools” and the basis of executable plans of action.

Resolutions taken at the 2005 Cape Town event included the need to cooperate in the fight against piracy and maritime crime – including drug smuggling and human trafficking, the need to enhance maritime cooperation levels and the exchange of information, and the need to chart the continent`s “offshore estate”.

There was also a call for cooperation in the field of training and for enhancing interoperability.
Decisions taken at the 2006 edition in Abuja included the establishment of four naval task groups “within a period of four years” as part of the African Standby Force. Countries tasked with a leadership role were South Africa (south), Nigeria (west), Kenya (east) and Egypt (north).
There was a further call on the establishment of centres of excellence and for the more established navies to support and mentor their younger brethren. Another resolution was for African navies to support (“patronise”) African shipyards in order to “catalyse the development of expertise and stem capital flight.”  
Asked for a concrete example of talk-made-action, Teuteberg said the SA Navy was now routinely training African officers and ratings. “You will find at the end of the year that the parade at the Naval College is becoming something of a continental, not SA Navy parade.”