Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs

African Maritime Security

This project intends to help policy makers, the commercial sector and others understand the changing dynamics of maritime security risk around the African coast.

In recent years the Africa Programme has become a leading source of policy relevant information on the nature and political context of the threats posed by Somali pirates, as part of our Horn of Africa Project. This included an influential paper on Piracy in Somalia written by Roger Middleton in 2008. Reports and meetings since then have assisted a number of foreign ministries, militaries and companies in better understanding and addressing the nature of the threat. Although hijacking of ships continues, a number of measures, including counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia have reduced piracy in the region. 

The Africa Programme is now examining increasingly complex maritime security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea. This draws on our track record on piracy, on extractive issues and armed non-state actors, as well as our considerable expertise on and networks into regional actors, including Nigeria and Angola. Piracy is a growing challenge, but so is crude oil theft, drugs smuggling and other forms of illegal activity with links into broader regional problems of corruption, insurgency and radicalization. Regional maritime security is important to the energy security of a number of international actors. At the same time maritime resources such as fish, aquaculture and intact ecosystems directly contribute to the livelihoods of many Africans. A major conference on Gulf of Guinea Energy Security will be followed by a series of activities through 2013 to draw international attention to these challenges and seek measures to address them. 


Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea: Lessons Learned from the Indian Ocean
Programme Paper
Adjoa Anyimadu, July 2013

Tackling Insecurity in West Africa's Waters
Expert Comment
Adjoa Anyimadu, June 2013

The Battle of the Atlantic Anniversary: The Navy's Role in Resilience and Prosperity
Meeting Summary
May 2013 

Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea
Conference Report
March 2013

Report of the International Piracy Ransoms Task Force
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
December 2012 

Stability and Development in Somalia
Alex Vines, November 2012

Angola and the Gulf of Guinea Towards an Integrated Maritime Strategy
Conference Report, November 2012 (also available in Portuguese)

Coordinating an International Approach to the Payment of Ransoms: Avoidance of and Alternatives to Ransom Payments
Discussion Document
Adjoa Anyimadu, August 2012

The Role of Seychelles in Counter-Piracy
Joel Morgan and Jean Paul Adam, February 2012

Treasure Mapped: Using Satellite Imagery to Track the Developmental Effects of Somali Piracy
Programme Paper
Anja Shortland, January 2012

Treasure Mapped: Using Satellite Imagery to Track the Developmental Effects of Somali Piracy
Meeting Summary
Chatham House, January 2012

The Consequences of Piracy in the Horn of Africa (in Italian)
Report prepared for the Italian Parliament
Roger Middleton and Lia Quartapelle, May 2010

Piracy and Legal Issues: Reconciling Public and Private Interests
Conference Report
October 2009

Pirates and How to Deal With Them
Briefing Note
Roger Middleton, April 2009

Piracy in Somalia: Threatening Global Trade, Feeding Local Wars
Briefing Paper
Roger Middleton, October 2008

Conference Audio

Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea: Florentina Adenike Ukonga 

Institutional Cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea

Q and A: Institutional Cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea

Challenges in the Gulf of Guinea 

Q and A: Challenges in the Gulf of Guinea


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