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Indian Ocean Association Academic Group (IORAG): Maritime Safety and Security Focus Group Meeting
Author: Prof Henri Fouché
Published: 08/03/2017

On 31 March 2017 Prof's Henri Fouché and Francois Vreÿ from SIGLA will be participating in a Maritime Safety and Security Focus Group meeting, to be held in Pretoria, for the South African Chapter of the Indian Ocean Rim Association Academic Group. The objective of the meeting will be, amongst others, to identify a universal theme and area of research that would be relevant to all the countries of IORA, as well as one area of research within this theme to focus on.  

The Indian Ocean Rim Association is an economic cooperative community, consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean. The Association comprises of twenty-one member states (South Africa, India, Australia, Mauritius, Indonesia, Comoros, Iran, Madagascar, Oman, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Malaysia, Mozambique, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Yemen, Somalia) supported by seven dialogue partner states (China, France, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Japan, Germany and the United States of America).

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) coordinates the SA-IORAG comprising of representatives from the National Research Foundation (NRF), Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) as the chair and vice-chair of the SA-IORAG and secretariat respectively. 

South Africa is the current vice-chair of the IORA and will take over the chair for 2017 to 2019. In preparation for the chairship, the South African Chapter of Indian Ocean Rim Association Academic Group has been formed. The South African Chapter is established in accordance with the objectives of the Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group which constitutes the academic arm of IORA.Consequently, the Chapter's objectives extracted from the IORAG priorities (Maritime Safety and Security; Trade and Investment Facilitation; Fisheries Management; Disaster and Risk Management; Academic cooperation; Science and Technology; Tourism and Cultural Exchanges; Blue Economy; Women's Empowerment [Transformation and Equity]) will be:

  • To service the needs of government and business;
  • To promote intellectual dialogue between partners;
  • To serve as a vehicle for development and dissemination of the Indian Ocean Rim concept;
  • To interact with the IORA South Africa in the consideration, formulation and implementation of Policy and Work programmes contributing to the work of the Association and its academic arm;
  • To draw up academic networks with local and international partners;
  • To promote outreach programmes to increase the visibility of IORA South Africa and the Association itself through public lectures especially at institutions of higher learning.

Direct benefits for academic participation include publishing studies and reports in the IORA Journal and Website; Networking with Dialogue Partners and Member States of IORA; Contributing towards annual IORAG meetings during the Council of Ministers and Committee of Senior Officials; Delivering public lectures in Member States; Host science, technology and academic initiatives in South Africa in collaboration with the rest of the IORA member states.