African leaders sign charter on maritime security

 (Channels) African leaders have adopted and signed a draft Charter on Maritime Safety, Security and Development.
 African leaders have adopted and signed a draft Charter on Maritime Safety, Security and Development.
The agreement is aimed at establishing a roadmap on maritime security in Africa and causing development and economic growth through Africa’s oceans and seas.
At a summit in Lome, the capital of Togo, the African leaders signed the charter which is the culmination of previous summits, to provide peace, security and stability on Africa’s blue economy.
Over 90 per cent of Africa’s trade is maritime-based.
Prior to the signing of the charter, series of discussions were held by international maritime specialists and experts who met for five days.
They examined maritime piracy, trafficking, illegal fishing, development of the blue economy and protection of marine ecosystem.
These discussions culminated in a charter the Chairperson of African Union (AU), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and President Idriss Deby of Chad referred to as an uncommon feat.
After the signing of the Charter on Maritime Safety, Security and Development, the President of Chad, Mr Deby and the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said the agreement was a big achievement for Africa’s development.
“One of the critical things here is that we have been able to get everyone to agree, which by itself, is a very major step. It, of course, enjoins every African country to provide certain services and armed services in their own locality,” Professor Osinbajo stressed.
Before now, vast potentials of Africa’s blue economy have been infiltrated by criminals, pirates and smugglers, but the leaders have made a strong commitment to the monitoring and coordinating of activities in the continent’s waters through the charter.
Part of what the leaders plan to achieve with the new charter are job creation and revenue increase that could run into billions of dollars.