Safeseas Symposium on Capacity Building for Maritime Security

The current re-evaluation of the maritime as a space of insecurity and economic opportunity has led to a growing awareness for the weak capacities of the majority of coastal states. Protecting territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones, preventing maritime crimes, such as piracy and illegal fishing, and ensuring the sustainable exploitation of maritime resources requires significant law enforcement capacities, information sharing tools and working maritime governance structures. Several capacity building initiatives are underway to support countries. This symposium, the first of its kind, takes stock of the past experience in maritime security capacity building and asks how it can be more efficiently delivered and coordinated. The high-level event is a meeting of representatives from countries benefitting from capacity building, representatives of actors engaged in capacity building and a range of practitioners active in maritime security projects.

Programme Overview

The one-day event starts with a welcoming panel highlighting the importance of maritime security capacity building. This is followed by the discussion of the SafeSeas best practice toolkit on “Reflexive Capacity Building”. The afternoon programme zooms in on dedicated practical challenges – fishery crime, maritime domain awareness, and the delivery of capacity building. The day concludes with a strategic debate on the future of international engagement in the Western Indian Ocean region. The symposium provides a unique opportunity to rethink the efficacy of capacity building, the cooperation between donors and the region and steer it into new directions.


Speakers confirmed to date include H.E. Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, H.E. Barry Faure, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Government of Seychelles, former Chairman of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, H.E. Carl P. Salicath, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, confirmed, H.E. Mr Ali Hassan Bahdon, Minister of Defense, Government of Djibouti, Professor Paul Jackson, British Academy, Alan Cole, Director of UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme, Hugh Mudford, EUCAP Somalia, Dr. Katja Lindskov Jacobsen, University of Copenhagen, Mr. Johnny Louys, Seychelles Fishing Authority, John Waweru, National Defence College Kenya, Kiruja Micheni, International Maritime Organisation, Dave Nattrass, EU CRIMARIO/Expertise Francaise, Johan Bergenas, Vulcan Inc, John Steed, UNODC/OBP, John Aero Hansen, Danish Navy, Marianne Peron-Doise, EU Crimario / Expertise Francaise,

Dates and Location

The symposium will be held at the Norfolk Fairmont Hotel, Nairobi, on Friday, the 2nd of March 2018, 8.00-18.30, followed by a reception.

Symposium Agenda

A detailed and frequently updated symposium agenda is available for download here.


Participation in the symposium is open to interested maritime security experts. Participation is free of charge but requires registration. To register, please contact the symposium secretariat at and include a brief outline why you are interested to participate. 

Further Questions

For general inquiries on the event and to register please contact the secretariat at or for questions concerning the programme Professor Christian Bueger at