Legal implications for new blue economy

NOVEMBER 7, 2014

The legal challenges and opportunities presented by the continent’s new maritime strategy will be the focus of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s 2014 Aim Strategy Law Conference.

The two-day conference follows another key maritime conference in Nelson Mandela Bay at which policy and human resource needs for the untapped African ocean or blue economy will be highlighted.

“The AIM (African Integrated Strategy) conference will enable delegates to share their work in the fields of both maritime and marine law with a specific focus on South Africa and other parts of the continent,” says Prof Patrick Vrancken, who is the incumbent of the national Research Chair in the Law of the Sea and Development in Africa, funded by the Department of Science and Technology, managed by the National Research Foundation and hosted at the university.

NMMU has been earmarked as a possible higher education institution candidate in meeting some of the industry’s human resource needs - by offering research supervision to educate much-needed, highly-skilled specialists. It is already in negotiations with a number of government and industrial players regarding the way forward.

The 13 to 14 November conference at NMMU’s South Campus is being hosted in partnership with the Maritime Law Association of South Africa (MLASA) and the South African Branch of the International Law Association (SABILA).

Titled “The 2015 Africa Integrated Maritime (AIM) Strategy: Legal Challenges and Opportunities”, the conference will bring together academics, practitioners, postgraduate students and foreign experts to share their work in the field of maritime law and marine law.

 “The AIM Strategy needs to be supported by a vibrant African community of marine and maritime law experts,’’ says Prof Vrancken.

Given the national impetus for creating a blue economy in a sustainable manner, there are high hopes that the AIM conference will become an annual event.