Kenya signed a deal with six countries that border the Indian Ocean to share intelligence in an effort to stem down illegal trade via the ocean. The signing comes days after the formation of the Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS).
According to Defense Secretary, Raychelle Omamo, the pact signed on Monday would bolster maritime security in the massive ocean prone to movement of narcotics and contraband goods as well as illegal fishing
The countries involved in maritime security pact include France, Madagascar, Seychelles and Djibouti while Somalia and Tanzania — have agreed to the deal (but are yet to sign the security pact).
President Uhuru Kenyatta recently launched the Kenya Coast Guard Service to strengthen maritime security and protect the country’s resources like fish and oil.
Kenya loses about 10 billion shillings ($97 million) annually to foreign boats fishing without authorization. Nairobi has vowed to use the coast guard to crack down on drug, people and arms smuggling along coast.
Until the launch of the coastguard, Kenya’s Navy has been responsible for maritime security but experts said it has been overstretched.
The signing of the maritime security deal is one of the many gains realized in the Blue Economy Conference in held in Nairobi.