Past eventInvitation OnlyResearch Event

Somalia’s Maritime Economy: Tackling Instability to Secure Growth

11 May 2017 - 17:30 to 18:45

Chatham House, London


H.E. Barry Faure, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Seychelles; Chairman, Contact Group on Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS)
Brian Lisko, Maritime Programs Branch, Counternarcotics and Transnational Threats Programs Division, United States Africa Command (US AFRICOM)
Col Richard Cantrill, Chief of Staff, European Union Naval Force (Somalia)
Chair: Dr Alex Vines OBE, Research Director, Area Studies and International Law; Head, Africa Programme, Chatham House



The Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean are of major geostrategic significance, with up to 20% of global trade passing along shipping lanes in these waters. Since 2012, International concern about piracy off the coast of Somalia had lessened, until a number of high-profile incidents in March and April 2017 put the issue firmly back on the map. While these high-profile attacks indicate a resurgence in aggressive piracy targeted at international vessels, more low-key incidents of maritime violence and crime never abated. Key causes of insecurity along Somalia’s coastline, such as decreased employment opportunities, illegal fishing and the proliferation of small arms, have yet to be addressed. Famine in the Horn of Africa, coupled with a decline in international assistance, has exacerbated the situation. The Somali government lacks the capacity to secure its coastal waters, and is unable to tap their economic potential.

At this roundtable, speakers will discuss national, regional and international efforts to combat insecurity off the coast of Somalia, and highlight the mechanisms necessary to ensure the new Somali government can benefit sustainably from its rich maritime economy. 

The Chatham House Rule

To enable as open a debate as possible, this event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.