The Somali Maritime Administration (SMA), a department of the Ministry of Ports and Maritime Transport, established in 2019 with EUCAP Somalia support, celebrates its second anniversary.
SMA aims at assuring that vessels flying the Somali flag are safe, environmentally sound, and internationally acceptable and that the safety and security standards of foreign vessels arriving at Somalia Ports are up to standard and those crossing Somalia waters compliant with International Law.
For the occasion, EUCAP Somalia met with SMA representatives to mark the progress over the past two years and discuss current challenges as well as on the way forward.
“Somalia has the longest African internal continental coast and the creation of the SMA allowed Somalis to take responsibility for the control and the surveillance of the Somali territorial waters”, the SMA Director, Captain Hassan M Farah said.
Despite several challenges encountered in executing its mandate, namely Somalia’s political instability and the lack of political support, the SMA in collaboration with EUCAP Somalia has improved its awareness and capability of responding and coordinating Search and Rescue (SAR) activities through the established Maritime Rescue and Coordination Center (MRCC). Furthermore, the SMA together with the EUCAP Somalia mission intends to further enhance the maritime domain awareness through the use of the Somali ship registry, also vital to ensure maritime governance and development of a sustainable Blue Economy.
“The SMA also supports the Blue Economy, that includes fishing, oil and other maritime revenues, creating jobs for young Somalis, providing them with an alternative life which keeps them away from piracy and other insurgent activities”, stressed SMA Director. As part of its support to maritime security and Blue Economy in Somalia, EUCAP Somalia accompanied SMA throughout its establishment, providing its current temporary office space, various equipment and advisory. Future challenges for the SMA are, according to the Director, establishing regional contacts and start collaborating with other regional mechanisms and structures in the maritime domain.
EUCAP Somalia is committed to supporting SMA in its future endeavours to further develop the maritime domain in Somalia.
‘’We are pleased to see the development SMA has made. SMA lets citizens know what is legal and what is not”, EUCAP Head of Mission Christopher Reynolds says.
Read more about the establishment of the SMA in 2019 here: https://www.eucap-som.eu/launch-of-the-somali-maritime-administration/