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NEWS | March 23, 2023

African Maritime Forces Summit concludes in Cabo Verde

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa / U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

The first African Maritime Forces Summit concluded today in Sal Island, Cabo Verde, March 22, 2023.

The three-day summit, hosted by Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) Adm. Stuart B. Munsch, brought together heads of navies, coast guards, and naval infantries from 38 nations to discuss strategic and operational approaches to maritime security.

“The security dynamics impacting African nations are shaping our present, and they will shape our future. Partnership can serve as the foundation to stability in Africa and growing prosperity for every African nation.  This week we had the opportunity to strengthen our existing partnerships and also build new ones, ready to meet shared challenges together,” said Munsch. 

Alongside Munsch, the summit opened with keynote speakers including the Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, U.S. Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Linda Fagan, and the Prime Minister of Cabo Verde Ulisses Correia e Silva. Panel sessions included discussions on strategic and operational approaches to maritime security; maritime threat response through naval infantry; shared challenges within respective maritime services; and regional interoperability initiatives. The summit also included a visit to the Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) to observe shipboard firefighting demonstrations, joint U.S. Coast Guard and Cabo Verdean boarding drills, and simulated bomb-disposal robotics conducted by U.S. Marines.

Cabo Verde’s Chief of Defense Rear Adm. António Duarte Monteiro gave closing remarks at the summit, where he emphasized the importance of cooperation amongst regional and international partners.

“Threats to maritime security do not respect political boundaries, and there is very little that an individual state can do alone. The need to cooperate with others is fundamental to the very concept of increased maritime security and sustainable development of the blue economy,” said Monteiro. "Cooperation with other states in security, law enforcement, and the protection of the environment should not be viewed as a derogation of sovereignty, but rather as a multiplication of the effectiveness of our sovereignty.”

AMFS participating nations include Angola, Benin, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Italy, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants include heads of navy, coast guards, and naval infantries from four continents including Africa, Europe, North America, and South America.

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with our Allies and Partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility.  U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.