Côte d’Ivoire adopted its maritime strategy in December 2014 to promote a coordinated, sustainable and a more secure domain for its maritime economy.
At the request of Côte d’Ivoire’s maritime authorities, and in partnership with the Permanent Secretariat of the Ivorian Inter-Ministerial Committee for State Action at Sea, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) organised a workshop on maritime security and blue economy in Abidjan from 20–21 June 2016. The goal of the workshop was to help Côte d’Ivoire take advantage of its maritime strategy, to highlight the importance of the blue economy and to raise awareness among maritime entities of the roles they each play.
Mr Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire, opened the event and welcomed 50 participants, including the chief of Navy staff, the directors general of maritime affairs, the Abidjan regional maritime academy, fishing, hydrocarbons, the port of Abidjan and the port of San Pedro. The Economic Community of West African States Commission, the European Union’s project ‘Critical Maritime Routes in the Gulf of Guinea’, the Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre of Cotonou and the national maritime private sector also participated in the event.
The workshop was chaired by Barthélemy Blédé, Senior Researcher, ISS and Abroulaye Fofana, Permanent Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for State Action at Sea, Prime Ministry, Côte d’Ivoire.
- Timothy Walker, Researcher, ISS
- Abroulaye Fofana, Permanent Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for State Action at Sea, Prime Ministry, Côte d’Ivoire
- Captain Soukoume Alleda, Togo Navy, Maritime Coordination Centre in Cotonou
- Dr Isaac Armstrong, ECOWAS Commission
- Captain Charles Bamele, Côte d’Ivoire Navy
- Col Kouassi Kossonou, Maritime Affairs, Côte d’Ivoire;
- Col Karim Coulibaly, Director General, Abidjan Regional Maritime Academy
- Ousmane Doukouré, Director of Hydrocarbons, Côte d’Ivoire
- Pierre Hery, Shipowner, Côte d’Ivoire
- Cdt Soro Sinaly, Port of Abidjan
- Dr Shep Helguile, Director of Fisheries
- Serge Rinkel, European Union Expert
Discussions focused on the contribution of each maritime sub-sector to the national economy, the challenges faced and the measures to protect it. It emerged that the stakeholders, such as those in charge of maritime transport, offshore activities, fishing, maritime education, port management, and maritime surveillance, monitoring and controls, should work in a complementary manner around the Permanent Secretary for State Action at Sea.
The workshop produced a declaration that could serve as a guideline to Ivorian decision makers, which:
- Calls for special attention to be paid to maritime security to sustainably preserve the national economy.
- Calls on all the major stakeholders of the State Action at Sea, including the private sector, to provide all necessary support to the implementation of Côte d’Ivoire’s maritime strategy.
- Encourages the government in its efforts of having the new maritime code voted by the National Assembly.
- Calls on the authorities to ensure the security of the outer harbour of the port of Abidjan.
- Calls on the states and the regional organisations in the Gulf of Guinea to implement the maritime security architecture provided in the Yaoundé process.