Investing in Science and Technology to Meet Africa's Maritime Security Challenges [open pdf - 527KB]
"Africa's maritime spaces host a growing number of threats that challenge both Africa and the global community. Narcotraffickers now move an estimated 50--60 tons of cocaine every year through West Africa to Europe. More than 1,000 hostages were seized in 218 piracy attacks off of East Africa in 2010--double the number of incidents in 2008. Armed robberies of local and international vessels in Nigerian waters continue to be a challenge and analysts expect increasing numbers of kidnappings at sea in 2011. Illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing is estimated to cost sub-Saharan Africa about $1 billion annually, the catch from which floods international markets, depresses prices, and discourages legal and environmentally sustainable practices around the world. […] There are a number of major reasons why Africa struggles to meet these maritime security challenges. First, exclusive economic zones (EEZs), which reach out 200 nautical miles from a coastline, are by definition large and difficult to monitor. This situation is exacerbated in Africa because of resource limitations. Off of West and Central Africa, for example, there are fewer than 25 maritime craft longer than 25 meters available for interdiction efforts. Many African countries, moreover, have prioritized investment in land-based forces over maritime units, thereby rendering any surveillance beyond coastal observation all but impossible. Lastly, maritime policing and management are never performed by a single agency but instead require a level of interministerial coordination and collaboration that is often difficult to achieve."
Africa Security Brief No. 10
National Defense University: http://www.ndu.edu/