On 21-22th September 2019, Somaliland Counter Piracy Coordination Office (CPC) together with Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) launched Maritime Resource and Security Strategy Meeting at Mansoor Hotel Hargeisa. The main agenda of the meeting was to discuss, suggest and recommend policies towards six thematic areas of the CPC office which were Maritime Governance, Maritime Law Enforcement, Maritime Security, Maritime Safety, Maritime Response and Recovery and Maritime Economy. The meeting was attended members of Government Ministries including Ministry Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Justice and Judicial Affairs, Somaliland Coast Guard, Member of Parliament and Somaliland Police which were closely cooperating with Counter-Piracy Office and three members represented Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Mr Mohamed Osman, the Executive Director of Counter-Piracy Coordination of Office opened the meeting and thank all participants for their commitment and close cooperation. Mr Osman briefed the attendees and said “Somaliland has a coastline of 850 km long on the Gulf of Aden which hosts one of the busiest Maritime Traffic Lanes in the World. The Maritime water with the facility of Berbera Port is the most important trade route that connects Somaliland with the rests of the world, where 90% of import and export goes through. For essential economic and security reasons, the government of Somaliland has a national and international obligation to keep it safe, open, clean and sustainable exploitation of its Maritime Resources”. The Executive Director of the CPC Mr Mohamed Osman further added that Somaliland CPC Office coordinates Maritime Security and the Implementation of Maritime Priorities on the National Development Plan for 2017-2022 (NDPII) in cooperation with relevant National, Regional and International Agencies.
In addition, Eng. Adan Jama Hadi, Operations Manager of CPC Office presented the development of the sector and said “Somaliland CPC Office prepared Maritime Strategic Development Plan (SDG16-5 on the NDPII of the Governance Sector). First, Somaliland specific priorities were derived from the SMRSS (Somali Maritime Resource and Security Strategy). This is a generic maritime strategy developed by international experts in 2013 for the capacity building of Maritime Sectors in the region. Some of the items of those priorities had been adapted and added into the National Development 2017-20121 (NDPII)”. Eng. Adan Jama highlighted Some of the top priorities of the Maritime Resource and Security Strategy of the Office including; Developing and legislate a National Maritime Administration Authority with full capacity to implement the required domestic and international Maritime Legal Framework and undertake the government responsibilities as a Coastal State, Port State and Flag State, Invest and Train Maritime Human Resources at all levels of Government and to enhance capacity of Maritime Security Focal Point, to Coordinate and lead the development of Maritime Strategic priorities. Developing Maritime Law Enforcement Governance Structure with attendant legislation for improved Law Enforcement at Sea and in Ports, developing and training a Maritime Prosecutorial capability within the Justice sector together with trained Judges, Lawyers and Infrastructure to deal with Maritime cases. Develop a deep-sea patrol capability to conduct fishery protection within Somaliland, together with other duties including Policing, Immigration, and Maritime Counter-Terrorism, Counter Piracy and Environmental protection.
Eng. Adan Jama further emphasized the other sectors’ priorities including; establishing and improving existing Maritime Educational Institutions and providing training for Somaliland fishermen and seafarers. Boat licensing and Port Control System for all vessels leaving and entering Somaliland Ports. Creation of a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) including responses capability to Maritime Search and Rescue requirements and the Improvement of Maritime Safety at sea in Somaliland waters. Providing training equipment’s to Somaliland CPC office, the future Maritime Administration Agency to run the MRCC effectively. Eng. Adan underlined enhancement of the capacity of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development in terms of licensing, control surveillance, enforcement and Port state Measures, quality control and Coastal Management are the top priorities of the CPC office. As a final point, Eng. Adam Jama putted on the table the sectors success story and the way forward, specifically the he mentioned that the Development of Maritime Policy will start, consultation workshop will be arranged to consider all the views of the participants, Coast Guard achieved a lot this year, Berbera Port Investment by DP World is making a huge contribution to the local economy, Maritime Working Group established under the Security Subsector of the NDPII. Eng. Adan urged all governmental Maritime stakeholders that were present at the meeting to establish a proper working relationship from now and to serve the nation in general and your contributions are highly appreciated and are needed. Eng. Adan stated that Union and collaboration are needed in all sectors in order to serve the nation and to cooperate with each other to achieve wide progress in general.
Abdiwahid Mohamed Hersi, IGAD Maritime Technical Expert presented the main objective behind the establishment of Maritime Security to the Blue Economy as an essential continuum, Mr. Abdiwahid explained further the word Maritime Security which is like any other International buzzword, it is a term that draws attention and relies support for tackling critical issue taking place in the Maritime domain. The idea behind the establishment of Maritime Domain born in the prevention of international damage through sabotage, subversion or terrorism. Mr. Abdiwahid said the purpose of IGAD’s Maritime Security Program (MASE) is to contribute and improve Maritime Security in the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) region in doing so contribute to global security (including free movement of ships/navigation under the principles of Mare Liberum, it also to contribute creating an environment that is conducive to the economic development of the ESA-IO.
The MASE program is to strengthen the capacity of the ESA-IO region to implement the Regional Strategy and Action Plan against Piracy and for Maritime Security. Mr Abdiwahid said, “securing the Maritime Domain would lead to the development of green economy into blue sustainable development economy which can contribute to eradicating poverty, sustained economic growth and decent work while maintaining healthy ecosystems”. Finally, Mr Abdiwahid suggested IGAD’s member states that it needs to take seriously the development of blue economy, developing national development plans as well regional encapsulating the regional maritime economic development and to create integrated Maritime policy towards governance and economy.
In conclusion, the meeting gave all participants a great opportunity to share their experience and knowledge about Maritime policy development. The participants also recommended that the blue economy initiatives need to re-emphasise the role of regional and sub-regional integration in improving development. They were also suggested that all regional organizations should recognize the importance of coordination with regional and sub-regional organizations such as the AUC, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), The East African Community (EAC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in developing together with Save and Secure Maritime Domain. Further, they indorsed that all East African States including Somaliland to take seriously the “Blue Economy” and start developing national development plans as well as regional encapsulating the regional maritime economic growth and to establish Maritime Authority Structures as part or recognizing the contribution of blue Economy to the GDP.
By: Abdiaziz Harun Mohamed
Deputy Director of Planning & Coordination Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of Somaliland