Third International Conference on Strategic Theory “Good order at sea off Eastern Africa: Beyond piracy”

(September 2013)

A three day Conference, 18.9.-.20.9.2013, Dar es Salam, Tanzania.

Revisiting maritime security along the east coast of Africa is a matter currently eclipsed by the anti-piracy debate. The African eastern littoral comprises more than events off the Horn of Africa and it is prudent to cast the maritime debate wider than Somali piracy. When actors and decision-makers thus contemplate maritime security, the piracy theme has become a fixture, but one that neglects wider matters of maritime security.

If one changes the narrative to enquire on the state of order at sea off eastern Africa, the response repertoire may change as well. The geostrategic landscape and threat perceptions shift to support the belief that the suppression of sea piracy does not equate to the return of good order at sea in east African waters. Addressing the latter is important for order at sea is the longer-term objective due to the importance of its constituent elements for Africa as well as the international society.

The conference organized by the Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University and the Royal Danish Defence College aims to address a different question set as a way to reach out to delegates by means of an established academic framework on good order at sea. African leaders increasingly realize the importance of a safe and secure maritime landscape and thus the imperative to introduce order at sea alongside the piracy focus. African actors along the eastern seaboard are also acutely aware of how to respond to piracy, but perhaps less attentive to or aware of the importance and their own contributions to the wider ambit of good order at sea. The constituent elements of good order in themselves are subthemes for analysis and jointly form the thematic outline for the planned conference and workshop. A revisit of jurisdiction at sea, boundary settlements, safe exploitation of marine resources, safety of maritime traffic and the sea as an environment and source of information is now required. The conference and workshop thus turns the attention to the broader ambit of order at sea off eastern Africa to highlight the African interest and contributions as opposed to the lesser African profile in current anti-piracy measures.

Further Information is available here. A report on the conference will be posted in due course.