India- Kenya Joint Vision Statement on Maritime Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region – BAHARI

December 05, 2023

1. Recalling that India and Kenya are maritime neighbours and sea faring nations situated on two sides of the Indian Ocean,

2. Recognizing that the security and prosperity of both countries is linked to the Indian Ocean,

3. Considering the friendly relations between the two countries and the commonality of views on issues of mutual concern,

4. Taking note of India’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR) and Kenya's Vision 2030,

5. Reaffirming the principles of equality, mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty, mutual trust and friendship and

6. Affirming their commitment to further deepen the timeless linkages and bonds of geography, history, trade and people-to-people ties between the two maritime neighbours across the Indian Ocean.

7. Agreeing on a Joint Vision on furthering Maritime Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region through BAHARI (Ocean in Swahili), H.E. Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India and H.E. Dr. William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya agreed on the main elements of the vision incorporating the following:

Boosting Maritime Trade and Industry

Advancing Maritime Security

Harnessing Blue Economy potential

Accelerating connectivity

Reinforcing Capacity Development

Improving Information Sharing

8. Both leaders agreed on the following agenda for action to implement BAHARI:

8.1. Boost Maritime Trade and Industry: The two nations represent a combined maritime region which is important for global maritime trade and commerce and there are vast opportunities for greater flow of goods, services, investment and technology between the two nations. The Leaders agreed to consider trade facilitation measures, strengthen logistics links, and promote sustainable fishing industry, marine living resources management through technical cooperation, including but not limited to exchange of experts and provision of equipment. They also highlighted that the shipbuilding industry is an important area wherein both countries could collaborate closely and benefit mutually. In this regard, they agreed to cooperate in terms of capacity building of defence industries particularly in shipbuilding and shipyard development, in co-development and construction of defence equipment like maritime surveillance equipment, offshore patrol vessels, fast attack crafts and other arms and ammunition necessary to meet the requirements of Kenyan maritime forces for safeguarding their territorial waters and exclusive economic zones.

8.2. Advance Maritime Security: Both leaders agreed to coordinate closely on countering illicit maritime activities, including piracy and armed robbery; maritime terrorism; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU); irregular human migration; contraband smuggling; marine incidents; and emerging maritime security threats in the Indian Ocean Region. Appreciating the role played by Kenya and India in the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), both the leaders underscored the significance of extant frameworks for the security and prosperity of countries in the Indian Ocean Region. They also welcomed active participation of India and Kenya in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) to advance common maritime pursuits. Both sides agreed to consolidate on-going cooperation and develop a comprehensive approach, in line with the existing bilateral Defence Cooperation Framework, that will include:

● Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR): Strengthening cooperation and collaboration to respond effectively to natural disasters, providing timely humanitarian assistance, and building capacity for disaster management in Kenya as well as further developing early warning systems in the region for disaster related risks

● In-Ship Visits and Joint Exercises: Regular visits of naval vessels, coast guard ships, and maritime aircraft to facilitate mutual understanding, share best practices, and conduct joint exercises focusing on interoperability and enhancing maritime security capabilities.

● Appreciating the importance of multilateral frameworks such as Djibouti Code of Conduct- Jeddah Amendment (DCOC-JA) and Contact Group on Illicit Maritime Activity (CGIMA) to promote stability, security, and cooperation in the Indian Ocean, and strengthen existing mechanisms by participating in regular dialogues, meetings, information sharing networks towards addressing common challenges in a coordinated manner.

8.3 Harness Blue Economy Potential: The Leaders recognized the importance of the Blue Economy as a driver of inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development in the region and promoting it as a key source of job creation, combating climate change and ensuring protection of environment and natural resources. It was agreed to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding in Blue Economy and Fisheries Sector to harness the potential of sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture, renewable energy, marine biotechnology, promoting sustainable development while conserving marine resources.

8.4 Accelerate Connectivity: The Indian Ocean serves as a critical maritime highway connecting nations and facilitating trade and commerce, and people-to-people exchanges. In this regard, both leaders agreed on the importance of enhanced connectivity to promote trade, tourism, creative industry, and B2B linkages. Promoting investment and cooperation in ports, and facilitating smooth movement of goods would enhance connectivity in the region.

8.5 Reinforce Capacity Development: India agreed to extend capacity building assistance to Kenya to bolster realisation of the aims envisaged under this Vision Statement. This may include, but not be limited to, capacity-building and collaboration in oceanography; ship designing and construction; dredging; welding; fisheries; port development; fostering institutional linkages between think-tanks and academic institutions focusing on maritime subjects; developing research capacity; and transferring marine technology among research and development institutions.

8.6 Improve Information Sharing Networks: The two leaders agreed to enhancing information sharing related to maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and supporting the work undertaken by Information Fusion Centre - Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) for real-time information sharing between both nations to enhanceMaritime Domain Awareness. Reiterating Kenya’s important role as a member of the DCoC-JA, India offered a slot for an International Liaison Officer representing DCoC-JA at IFC-IOR in Gurugram and an Indian Naval Officer as Instructor at Kenya Navy Training College (KNTC) to be considered in 2024 to exchanging best practices with a view to developing a broader outlook towards the security of the east coast of Africa.

9. Both leaders agreed to deepen maritime security cooperation by further strengthening existing dialogue mechanism like the India-Kenya Joint Defence Cooperation Committee set up under the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation signed between the two countries in 2016 and establishing new institutional mechanisms including the staff level talks between the Naval forces of the two countries.

10. Both leaders agreed to expedite progress on projects, MoUs and initiatives flowing from this Joint Vision -BAHARI in accordance with their respective laws.

New Delhi
December 5, 2023


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