Skip navigation

The East African community‘s maritime domain: an innovative institutional framework

The East African community‘s maritime domain: an innovative institutional framework

Hamad, Hamad Bakar (2016) The East African community‘s maritime domain: an innovative institutional framework. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

Hamad Bakar Hamad 2016 - secured.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (8MB) | Preview


This PhD thesis analyses the main maritime policy and maritime security challenges facing the six East African Community (EAC) States, both individually and collectively, and how the EAC can play a leading role in resolving these challenges while maintaining its overall mission. The EAC is an Inter-Governmental Organisation (IGO), with the ultimate aim, set out in its 1999 founding Treaty, Article 5(2), of political union. In that regard, it differs profoundly from other supra-national organisations, which are analysed for comparison. The research uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches and a case study technique to obtain primary data through in-depth interviews, non-participatory observation and focus group discussions during two fieldwork visits in the EAC region. Participants from outside the EAC also provided corroborative information. Through purposive sampling, 52 individuals and 22 institutions within and outside the EAC region participated in the research. Data were analysed through thematic analysis techniques. The research found that piracy, armed robbery against ships at sea, illegal fishing, trafficking of narcotics, light weapons, and humans, and marine degradation are the main security threats in the EAC maritime domain, which the researcher has defined as the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of its two coastal States, currently out to 200 nautical miles, and areas of interest further out in the Indian Ocean. If Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) rights are secured, the domain may extend. It is also likely that the EAC shore and maritime infrastructures may be hit by maritime terrorism, most likely by the Islamist group, al-Shabaab. The lack of legal and institutional maritime frameworks and a weak Secretariat at the EAC are among the main factors that prevent the EAC taking a leading role in regional maritime security governance. At the time of writing, there are no maritime security policies, including a maritime security strategy, at the EAC or even at national level. A strong sense of state sovereignty, differences in political ideologies and affiliation, and economic rivalry between Kenya and Tanzania, the only coastal States of the EAC, cause further disagreements in regional maritime security cooperation. This research is, therefore, a wake-up call to the EAC Secretariat and the politicians of EAC member States to invest their political will and financial resources in regional maritime security efforts. Having analysed the issues, the research recommends the establishment of an EAC maritime security strategy and a Maritime Security Regime (MSR) to improve and manage regional maritime security while the Community is waiting for its stated long-term objective of a federation to materialise. However, the key EAC participants interviewed in the primary source research consider that unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: East African community; maritime security; international relations; maritime domains; maritime security regime; maritime security governance; maritime policies;
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Law & Criminology (LAC)
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2019 10:05

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics