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Effective maritime domain awareness in the Western Indian Ocean

Building efficient and sustainable MDA structures, creating institutions and centres that are trusted and enhance coordination, and continuing training and other capacity building measures will decrease the dependency of the region on international actors. This in turn is key to ensure that maritime security and development of the blue economy is locally driven and owned. These are not short-term goals. Long-term efforts and conversations about next steps are necessary. Not high-tech solutions, but pragmatic steps and creative solutions, are required. The international community will have to continue to invest in regional structures, but, as this policy brief has argued, should carefully plan the priorities that are pursued. This will require greater investment in people and analytical capacities, as well as a re-think about which technologies are required and are appropriate in local contexts. Given overall resource constraints, as well as the declining strategic interest of some international partners, more attention needs to be paid to orchestrating the various initiatives and programmes in order to develop a coherent integrated structure for all users of the regional waters.