India-Africa Maritime Cooperation: Naval exercises for the first time with Morocco and Algeria


INS Tabar, as part of her overseas deployment, made a port call at Casablanca in Morocco. (Pic: Indian Navy)

India which has been at the forefront in developing a Maritime Domain Awareness network in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) recently conducted bilateral naval exercises with Morocco and Algerian navies. According to the Indian Navy, last week from August 25-26, INS Tabar, as part of her overseas deployment, made a port call at Casablanca in Morocco. INS Tabar participated in a Maritime Partnership Exercise with ‘Lieutenant Colonel Arrahman’ Royal Moroccan Navy ship, off Casablanca port.

The two navies focused on replenishment at sea procedures and naval manoeuvres as well as communications during the day long exercise before concluding with traditional `Steam Past’. On August 29, INS Tabar, which was on a goodwill visit to Europe and Africa then participated in a Maritime Partnership Exercise with Algerian Navy ship ‘Ezzadjer’ off the Algerian coast.

The exercise which included co-ordinate manoeuvring, communication procedures helped the two navies focus on interoperability between the two navies. It also helped them know the concept of operations which is followed by each side and also opened the possibility of more interaction and collaboration among them.

The naval exercise with Algeria is very important for India as it is strategically located in the Maghreb region and is the largest country of Africa.

India and Africa – Maritime Security

India has been gradually increasing its engagements with the navies in the African continent through frequent naval deployments and port visits. Also enhanced synergy between regional navies and coast guards through exercises. An inclusive regional maritime security infrastructure has been set up with the participation of the island states which are strategically located and there are constant interactions at the operational level.

And to monitor the activities in the IOR, a robust information sharing mechanism has been set up by India. And efforts have been made to encourage African participation in various multilateral frameworks in the IOR.

An Indian- led initiative Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), is headquartered in Mauritius and has eight African members including the strategic island states like Madagascar and Comoros.

Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050 of the African Union

The vision statement states, “The main aim of the Strategy is to foster increased wealth creation from Africa’s oceans and seas. This can be done by developing a sustainable thriving blue economy in an environmentally sustainable and secure manner”.

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