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Two key components of the blue economy are the main focus of this chapter: maritime trade and the exploitation of offshore oil and gas reserves. Both sectors share key characteristics and are influenced by various factors. Maritime security is an important aspect when large-scale projects in either sector are planned. Considering that both maritime trade—through customs duties—and offshore oil and gas production—through taxes and royalties—offer direct revenues for governments, investments into better provision of security at sea could even lead to additional resources in the short term. These would then be available for other types of government spending, for example on unrelated issues such as health care or education. Several initiatives, notably the African Union’s (AU) 2050 AIM Strategy, underline that links between maritime security and economic factors have gained increasing recognition in recent years. That is further highlighted by planned and ongoing investments in the offshore oil and gas industry as well as into port infrastructure in both East and West Africa.
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