African leaders on Saturday signed a maritime deal aimed at boosting security off the continent’s economically crucial coasts.
The deal is aimed to shore up development by countering maritime crimes such as smuggling and piracy.
The African leaders met in Lome, Togo for the extraordinary African Union Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa on Saturday 15th October 2016.
Congolese President Denis Sassaou Nguesso hailed the African Union deal as historic while Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said it showed that Africa is able to put together a continent-wide strategy.
According to Nguesso, the 43 nations adopted the bidding agreement that will see countries contribute a special fund for maritime security.
The maritime deal is designed to improve information/intelligence sharing between African countries, a weakness that smugglers and pirates have hugely benefitted from in the past, conducting their illegal activities and slipping between the territorial waters with little or no trouble.
The summit was attended by 18 heads of state signaling the importance the governments had placed on the need to counter piracy and other crimes in the Africa’s waters.