Press release

COMESA supports Agreement on establishment of Maritime Centres In Madagascar and Seychelles to ensure maritime security

March 29, 2015

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has expressed its support for a bilateral agreement between Seychelles and Madagascar on the establishment of two maritime centers, during the 14th Meeting of the COMESA Ministers of Foreign Affairs held on 28th March 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first being, an Operation Coordination Center in Seychelles to combat maritime insecurity, and the second, a Maritime Information Fusion Center, in Madagascar.

Secretary of State Ambassador Barry Faure called for members to provide their support to this bilateral agreement to enable these centers to be established in the Indian Ocean region. He informed the meeting that the agreement came to fruition earlier this month, following numerous discussions between the involved parties.

The centers are to be financed under the Maritime Security Programme (MASE), a European Union-funded initiative costing 37.5 million Euros that promotes maritime security for the region of East and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (ESAOI).

The Mauritian Foreign Minister, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, strongly expressed his support of the agreement, and called for the establishment of a legal framework for data storage and sharing based on international standards.

The meeting of Foreign Ministers noted that appropriate applications would be filed by the two Member States to the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) Secretariat, which has the mandate to establish these centers to combat maritime insecurity.

Seychelles was represented at the meeting by Ambassador Barry Faure, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Ambassador Claude Morel, accredited to COMESA, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice, resident Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, as well as officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Transport.