25 C
Antananarivo, MG
Monday, January 18, 2021


On April 29th, 2018, at the Ministerial Conference on Maritime Safety and Security held in Mauritius, five States from the ESA-IO Region,namely Djibouti, Madagascar, Mauritius, Union of Comoros and Seychelles, signed the Regional Agreement for the Setting up of a Regional Maritime Information Exchange and Sharing Mechanismin the Western Indian Ocean. Other states in the region are planning to join the regional agreement in near future. Articles 5 to 12 and the annex to the said regional agreement define the legal basis related to the organization and the functioning of the RMIFC.


In line with the implementation of Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (ESA-OI) Strategy for the fight against maritime piracy (2010 and 2013),a Regional Maritime Security Programme (MASE Programme), financed by the European Union and coordinated by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), was set up from 2013 for the benefit of ESA-IO region and focused on following five results, under the coordination of regional organizations in the region:

  • Result 1: Coordinated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and working for promotion of alternative livelihoods through learning, and advocacy support against maritime piracy and strengthening of maritime coordination mechanisms in Somalia.
  • Result 2: Coordinated by the Eastern Africa Community (EAC), aims to strengthen and develop national and regional legal and infrastructural capacities for arrest, transfer, detention and trial of individuals suspected of maritime piracy.
  • Result 3: Coordinated by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and aims at strengthening regional capacities to fight financial networks related to piracy, while acting on structural factors to reduce  economic impact of illicit financial activities related to maritime insecurity
  • Result 4: Coordinated by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), aims to put in place mechanism to improve national and regional capacities for the State action at sea through operational co-ordination
  • Result 5: Coordinated by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), aims to promote and develop a regional mechanism for the exchange of maritime information.

In connection with the implementation of Result 5 of the MASE Programme,

the establishment of a Regional Maritime Information Center (RMIFC) is one of the important activities of this result. To this end, through the IOC, the ESA-OI region launched a call for application to host the RMIFC in 2013. Madagascar has been confirmed by the States of ESA-OI region as the host country of the RMIFC during the Ministerial Conference on Maritime Safety and Security in the ESA-OI region held in Djibouti on May 15th, 2016.


The first semester of 2016 was marked by the pre-operational phase or the pilot phase of the center while the second semester of that year was the beginning of thestart-up phase up to the present day. Several steps have been taken by RMIFC since this start-up phase, including staff training, expansion of information exchange network,setting up of thecommunication tools (Website, Twitter and Facebook) and the production of basicdeliverables (Daily Brief, ESA-IO Ports Maritime TrafficStatus, Press Summary, Recognized Maritime Picture, Weekly Report on Maritime Safety and Security in theESA-IO Region, Monthly Report on Maritime Security and Safety intheESA-OI Region and Annual Report on Maritime Security and Safety in the ESA-IO Region).