Kenya has signed an agreement to share intelligence on maritime security with Western Indian Ocean counterparts.

Countries that signed the agreement include Madagascar, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania with a few countries left to sign the agreement.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo says the agreement is a commitment to cooperate in operations to deal with threats.

She says the approach will ensure the Western Indian Ocean economy is safeguarded.

“We will continue engaging with the western Indian Ocean countries further after the sustainable Blue Economy Conference, to learn about new practices on how to tackle maritime security,” she added.

Countries yet to sign include South Africa, Mozambique and the Comoros.

The 10 countries of the Western Indian Ocean are highly diverse, including small island states whose people and cultures are profoundly influenced by their large ocean territories and continental countries whose economies are only partially dependent on the sea.

The countries vary in their reliance on agriculture, fisheries, tourism, service industries and banking, their cultures, religions and histories.

But they all share one ocean, and this ocean realm is increasingly seen as a new frontier for development as a basis for economic growth and to lift lower-income countries out of poverty.

The conference that concluded on Wednesday saw about five commitments signed on maritime safety.

Over 16, 000 delegates from 184 countries attended the conference with about 62 corporate commitments made during the conference. 

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