Current groups efforts aimed at strengthening shipping safety and security around Africa’s oceans area a welcome, due development in the fight against piracy and other crimes but risk being seriously undermined by a duplication of efforts , the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has warned.
SAMSA’s concerns were shared with about 65 delegates attending the International Maritime Organization (IMO) three day workshop of signatories to the Djibouti Code of Conduct in Durban this past week.
According to Mr Boetse Ramahlo, an Executive Head for Legal and Regulations unit at SAMSA, South Africa through the agency’s representation – along with 11 other African countries on the Indian Ocean – is a member to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) while also a signatory to the IMO Djibouti Code of Code.
On assessment, he said, both groupings – with cross membership dominated by countries subscribing to both – offered safety and security programs and approaches with basic commonalities in their approach to crimes affecting shipping.
The situation, he said, not only carried the risk of possible wastage of highly limited financial, human and time resources of member countries, but also held the potential of raising and abating unnecessary competition.
Mr Ramahlo confirmed that South Africa would soon be also signing the DCoC Jeddah Amendment following to conclusion of necessary consultations in the country. (see last video clip towards the bottom of the article)
“One of the most important principles in the Djibouti Code of Conduct (2009) and its Jeddah Amendment (2017) is the importance of involvement of international support as given the nature and complexity of piracy, no single country can amass the vast resources needed to wage a successful fight against crimes affecting shipping.
“The illegal activities we are out to combat are transnational, and for us to be able to fight them we need regional and international cooperation,” said Mr Ramahlo
An absolutely crucial aspect of international support, he said, was that it needed firmly to be informed and driven by regional needs, and that the existence of non aligned groups in the same region yet with the same common goals and objectives would simply weaken such support.
He said IORA had recently established a safety and security unit with more similarities than differences to those goals and approaches envisaged and being pursuit by signatory countries to the DCoC and its Jeddah Amendment
“As South Africa, we are members of both. As functionaries of government, the question now asked by authorities is why is this situation prevailing where members states of these two groups work in isolation.
“We are hard pressed to explain why there is this duplication,” said Mr Ramahlo. To avert unnecessary complications that were likely to rise due to the situation, South Africa proposed that IORA and GCoC signatories should explore, as a matter of priority, the possibility of working far much closely together, he said.
For Mr Ramahlo’s full presentation on the situation, Click on video below.
GCoC Jeddah Amendment Action Plan developed and adopted
Mr Ramahlo’s remarks came on Wednesday, the last of three full days of engagement and discussions among some 65 delegates a majority of whom were from the 21 signatories of the GCoC, and which activity both the IMO and South Africa as a host, described as having been highly fruitful.
Key issues included an action plan for development and enhancement of information sharing centres to advance maritime domain awareness among both member countries as well as regional and international role players – this in the interest of strengthening safety and security of shipping around Africa and globally.
Summing up the progress achieved, Mr William Azuh, IMO’s Head for Africa Section of Technical Cooperation, said both the turn-out of more delegates than anticipated, as well as the intense engagement of everyone contributed to development of an action plan to ensure and effective implementation of a programme for enhanced shared communication and greater marine domain awareness among affected parties.
Describing the action plan agreed upon as only the beginning of a process, Mr Azuh said the IMO held the view that the outcomes of the workshop could be adopted as a template for development of programs for application regional and possibly globally. He urged delegates to continue to share information even with those countries that were not represented.
“Spread the message that this is what we did in Durban, and that we can work together.” he told delegates in a closing address. Mr Williams further thanked both England and South Africa for the support given the event.
(This blog will provide a full outline of the Action Plan adopted at the Durban Workshop as provided in a separate exclusive full length interview with the IMO’s Mr Kirija Micheni“
For Mr Azuh’s full remarks, Click on video below
South Africa takes pride in hosting IMO workshop
Meanwhile, South Africa through the Department of Transport and its agency, SAMSA expressed appreciation for the selection of the country as a host of the GCoC Jeddah Amendment Workshop.
Speaking on Wednesday, Captain Ravi Naicker, Senior Manager for Navigation, Security and Environment at SAMSA, contextualized the staging of the workshop in South Africa and explained its perspective as a crucial development in the strengthening of safety and security of shipping along Africa’s oceans.
South Africa for its location at the tip of continent and surrounded by three oceans, the Atlantic to the west, the Southern and Indian Oceans to the south and east respectively, provides a particularly important international shipping passage whose safety and security can’t be taken for granted.
For his full remarks Click on video below.
Equally impressed by the staging of the event in South Africa, thereby providing opportunity to several of the country’s internal security agencies, was the South African Polices Services (SAPS)
SAPS’s Captain Mandla Mokwana said as part of the border security agencies of the country, the police’s participation at the workshop allowed it opportunity to gain useful information on marine domain safety and security activities taking place in other countries. His full remarks here:
Meanwhile, in earlier remarks expressed during a welcome dinner for the delegates on Tuesday night at the Durban’s uShaka Marine complex, Mr Dumisani Ntuli, acting Deputy Director General, Maritime Directorate at the Department of Transport said South Africa took pride in its contribution to both regional and global maritime sector development endeavors linked to its active membership of the IMO.
He said the IMO DCoC Workshop in Durban was a precursor to among other events, South Africa’s hosting of the 2020 IMO International World Maritime Parallel event, expected to be attended by as many as 230 countries.
“We would like to see you all return to South Africa for that event,” he said.
Also speaking on behalf of SAMSA, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, Chief Operations Officer, said: “It is always a great pleasure for SAMSA to have people that you partner with as a country in the various areas that we interact in. It is important that as a country (South Africa) and other countries, that we plan such that our economies are always protected.”
Greater awareness coupled with effective communication and sharing of information was vital in that process, he said.
For Mr Ntuli and Mr Tilayi’s full remarks Click Here.
In the video below, Mr Ramahlo who also expressed a word of gratitude both to the IMO and delegates to the conference, formally confirmed South Africa’s readiness to also become a signatory to the DCoC Jeddah Amendment 2017.