The Indian Ocean Rim as a New Frontier: How Prepared is Africa?

Published on 31st December 2013

The Indian Ocean Rim presents socio-economic and political opportunities that must urgently be explored by actors from both private and public sectors in Eastern Africa and by extension Africa. The Indian Ocean, a major sea lane connecting Africa, East Asia and the Middle East with Europe and the Americas, has four critically important access waterways facilitating international maritime trade - the Suez Canal in Egypt, Bab-el-Mandeb (bordering Djibouti and Yemen), Straits of Hormuz (bordering Iran and Oman), and Straits of Malacca (bordering Indonesia and Malaysia). These “chokepoints” or narrow channels are critical to world oil trade as huge volumes of oil pass through them. 

The anticipated impact on the Indian Ocean traffic following Asian economies pursuit of African markets and growing interest with the discoveries of oil and natural gas in Eastern Africa calls to question the policies and structures in place, East Africa’s level of preparedness to manage its new found wealth, and ways in which  regional integration can serve as an effective tool to prepare Africa effectively to tap into benefits that come from the ongoing reorganization in the Indian Ocean Rim. 

This Occasional Paper gives policy propositions for Eastern Africa.

 Click here to read the full Occasional Paper 

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