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This chapter introduces the main focus of the book: maritime security in East and West Africa. It points out that maritime issues in general have been largely ignored in both regions during the past decades. Complex relationships between different actors at sea are described very broadly and some examples—explored in detail throughout the following chapters—show that maritime developments often have direct implications on land. Furthermore, most challenges in the maritime environment are transnational by nature, such as oil and gas fields straddling maritime boundaries, migratory fish stocks that are exploited in different jurisdictions or attacks against merchant ships which may impact ports across an entire region. In the final section, the chapter underlines the importance of discussions about maritime security in relation to economic topics. Governments throughout sub-Saharan Africa stand to benefit from the blue economy’s vast potential that would be a vital contribution to economic growth and development throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This potential has long been neglected and started to receive more attention only in recent years.
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- Chapter 1
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