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2018 Celebration of African Day of Seas and Oceans Held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa

Dates: 
May 30, 2018

2018 Celebration of African Day of Seas and Oceans Held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa

Wednesday 30 May 2018: The 2018 Celebration of African Day of Seas and Oceans was held under the theme “Implementation of Africa Charter on Maritime Security, Safety and Development in Africa: Development of the Annexes to the African Charter on Maritime Security, Safety and Development in Africa” on Wednesday, 30 May 2018 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Celebration, which was coordinated by the Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission, was held in the form of panel discussions led by keynote speakers, Professor Martine Ndende, United Nations-Economic Commission for Africa, Mr. Timothy Walker, Institute for Security Studies, and Mr. Curtis Bell, Stable Seas (One Earth Future/Ocean beyond Piracy). Discussions centred on key areas of maritime of particular concern to Africa including on the Concept of Blue Economy; Africa and Security on the High-seas, the overview, challenges and way forward in the Implementation of the 2050 AIM Strategy; Operationalizing the Blue Economy Concept and Harnessing the Full Potential of the Lomé Charter; and Development of the Annexes to the Lomé Charter: Background, Process and Outcomes. The event was attended by AU Member States, RECs, UNECA, AUC Departments, and Experts in the field of Maritime.
Amb. (Dr.) Namira Negm, the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission, in her opening remarks, welcomed participants on behalf of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, to the 3rd Celebration of African Day of Seas and Oceans and noted that as the African Continent depends heavily on its vast seas and ocean territories to transport goods to the market, it is imperative to recognize and harness the potential in this field, including the promotion of peace and security as well as sustainable economic development. She further noted that the implementation of the 2050 AIM Strategy will require tackling a vast range of governance and regulatory challenges. While doing so, numerous opportunities will arise to develop various fields of marine law, maritime law and ocean governance to support the sustainable growth of the African Blue Economy. She concluded by encouraging Member States to work towards having the AIM Strategy secure a real impact on Africa’s engagement with its adjoining seas.
The Celebration was followed by a two-day meeting of the Maritime Strategic Task Force with a mandate to consider the technical details of the 2050 AIM Strategy and propose a road map for the incremental implementation of the strategy in conformity with international maritime law. At the 30-31 May 2018 meeting, the Task Force considered and validated the zero Draft Annexes to the African Charter on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa (“Lomé Charter”).
NOTE TO EDITOR
The Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission in accordance with Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.496 (XXII) on the Implementation of Africa’s Integrated Maritime (AIM) Strategy, has the mandate to coordinate the Celebration of the African Day of Seas and Oceans. The overall objective of the celebration of the African Day of Seas and Oceans is to put Maritime Governance for sustainable development at the center of Africa’s safety, security, economic and social growth under the framework of AU adopted instruments such as the Lomé Charter and consequently to raise awareness about the importance of African maritime governance both at national and continental levels.