Kenya has been selected to Chair the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia for a period of two years starting January 2020.
This was during the Contact Group on Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia (CGCPS) meeting that was held in Mauritius last week. It will be the third country in the region, after Mauritius and Seychelles to Chair the international platform which was created following a UN resolution in December 2008 to address Piracy menace along the Eastern Coast of Africa.
Organized by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) together with the Republic of Mauritius which is the current Chair of the Contact Group, the meeting brought together more than 200 participants from over 30 States and regional and international organizations to discuss on way forward of this platform that focuses on fighting piracy. The meeting was organized to mark the week dedicated to Maritime Security.
While handing Kenya the new mandate, the meeting noted that the country has been actively involved in the maritime domain in the Western Indian Ocean and thus deserves to take over the mantle.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Defense, Amb. Raychelle Omamo,who led the country’s delegation to the meeting stated, “While there is a clear indication of the appropriation of maritime issues by riparian countries in the region, Kenya through its accession to the CGPCS Chairmanship, is ensuring its long-lasting legacy and is engaged to build on this solid foundation so as to take the Group to even greater heights and cement the legacy of the Group as an effective mechanism in fighting piracy”
Speaking at the forum, Mrs Nancy Karigithu, Principal Secretary for Shipping and Maritime welcomed Kenya’s appointment as the Platform Chair, saying it affirms the country’s commitment on Maritime Security matters.
“The new role will give us better latitude to make our contribution to the advancement of the mandate and ideals of the CGPCS. As a country, we know too well that our trade is affected by Maritime security.” She stated.
Most importantly, indicated the PS, Kenya has adopted the blue economy as one of the pillars of economic growth and therefore “Maritime Security as a pillar of blue growth is of utmost importance to us”