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The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) together with other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the European Union held the 3rd Steering Committee Meeting from April 17 – 19, 2016 in Djibouti to review progress made in the implementation of the Regional Programme for the Promotion of Regional Maritime Security in the Eastern Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (ESA-IO). 

Known as the MASE programme; the Steering Committee reviewed the progress made hitherto the 2nd Steering committee meeting that was held in Nairobi, Kenya in October 2015.

The Steering Committee made its commitment in seeing continued support to implement the MASE programme in order to ensure commitments by the Member States through the RECs are met and governance of their maritime domains is achieved by the end of the programme. The team also expressed its support to the installation of a Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC) in Madagascar and a Regional Centre for Operational Coordination (RCOC) in Seychelles, both dedicated to the ESA-IO region. .

In the meeting RECs and EU partners shared their views, status and results in the different results streamlined for the MASE programme  a) improvement of livelihoods for economic development, b) harmonization of national, regional legal, legislative and infrastructural capabilities c) Regional capacity to mitigate existing threats beyond piracy like cyber crime, terrorism many others d) Information sharing and regional coordination e) monitoring, evaluation and audits f) funds utilization and g) strengthening regional capacity to mitigate the existing vulnerability factors.

IGAD leads the coordination different strands the Maritime Security (MASE) programme even though other RECs manage their Results under decentralized modality.

The other RECs like the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Eastern African Community (EAC) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) with the support from the European Union closely collaborate with a range of actors at the national, regional and international scope in the delivery of the programme.

The Committee also reviewed the existing IGAD Maritime Integrated Regional Strategy that was validated by the IGAD Member States in December 2015.

An ESA-IOMinisterial meeting will take place in May 2016 in Djibouti to endorse future maritime implementations paving way towards safer waters in the IGAD region with the support of the international community and development partners. The meeting will also discuss progress made by the RECs; IGAD, EAC, COMESA and the IOC on maritime security  programme and propose the way forward for maritime security in the ESA-IO region.

A technical meeting of experts will precede the Ministerial on 14th of May 2016 in Djibouti ###

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