Djibouti (HAN) May 17.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. Ministers and High representatives dealing with maritime domain issues representing the Eastern Southern Africa – Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) countries have convened today May 15, 2016 in Djibouti in an effort to develop priorities for the future phase – post piracy which will be build on the current phase of the MASE programme.
Prior to the Ministerial Meeting, the team held a Maritime Technical Meeting on May 14, 2016 in order to come up with key strategic policy recommendations that will drive the European Union funded MASE Regional Programme 2016-2020. The participants at were able to share experiences and exchange information on key issues and best practices can be borrowed post 2nd ESA-IO Ministerial Meeting that was held Mauritius in October 2010.
During the opening of the Ministerial Meeting Ambassador Tewolde Gebremeskel, Director of Peace and Security on behalf of the Executive Secretary of IGAD; His Excellency Ambassador (Amb). Mahboub Maalim commended the ministers and high officials from the IGAD , COMESA, EAC and IOC region and other coastal states for their support towards securing and developing the maritime sector. This is expected to lead to economic growth and improved livelihoods in the region hence a reduction in crime due to the numerous opportunities that are within the maritime sector.
Representing the Chair of IGAD Council of Ministers, was Ambassador Suleiman Dedefo Woshe, Director General for Neighboring Countries and IGAD Affairs who requested the Ministers and officials to continue to work together to build a resilient maritime economy through regional cooperation and harmonization of policies and mechanisms.
In support Ambassador Joseph Silva, Head of the European Delegation to Djibouti highlighted the importance of maritime security hence their priority to support efforts towards global security and improvement in transportation sector enhancing global trade world and regional security resulting in a win-win situation for both Europe and Africa.
The Guest of Honor His Excellency AbdulKadir Moussa, Minister of Transport in the Republic of Djibouti commended the team for the achievements made so far and called for more cooperation and integration with neighbors to tackle existing challenges by making the work plan a reality and relevant to all stakeholders.
The Ministers will at the end of the day endorse an action plan based upon the technical experts’ recommendations within which IGAD has the mandate under the Maritime Security Programme (MASE-ESA-IO) that is EU funded to strengthen coordination aspects taking into consideration the five key results which ESA-IO forms as a core programme area. IGAD is the lead agency for the MASE which is implemented jointly with COMESA, EAC and IOC.
The two day meeting was attended by representatives from the Indian Ocean Commission, COMESA, EAC, AMSSA, Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP), EU Cap-Nestor United Nations, SADC, IMO, PMESA, Foreign Affairs and Transport and Infrastructure Ministries and Piracy units from Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Comoros, Madagascar and Seychelles.