About Africa Partnership Station
Africa Partnership Station (APS) is more a concept than any specific ship or “station.” With our international partners, APS is a series of activities designed to build maritime safety and security in Africa through working together with African and other international partners. Not all navy activities around Africa are considered part of APS. Instead, we conduct certain events which embody the spirit of cooperation and partnership that help build African Maritime Safety and Security capability and capacity. APS responds to specific African requests for assistance that benefits the international community as well as the United States. APS is in line with the mission of the United States Africa Command. It seeks to bring partnerships into action through cooperation among many different nations and organizations, and promotes maritime governance around Africa. Whether ships are pulling into ports and working with the host nation to address maritime issues, or countries partnering in law enforcement operations, these events fall within the scope of APS. APS is inspired by the belief that effective maritime safety and security will contribute to economic prosperity and security on land. To address each of these issues successfully, partners must work together with a common purpose.
We believe that security of the seas is essential for global security. There is a relationship between security of the sea, the ability of countries to govern their waters, a country’s prosperity, stability and peace. The oceans of the world are a common bond between the economies and countries of the world. Seventy percent of the world is water, 80% of the world lives on or near the coastline and 90% of the world's commerce is transported on the ocean. Individual nations cannot combat maritime problems and crimes alone and APS is a direct response to the growing international interest in developing maritime partnerships.
A Shared Vision
APS and partner nations in Africa, the United States and Europe want to answer African leaders' requests to build a prosperous Africa. We all want to achieve safe borders, stability and prosperity.
This project is about enabling African nations’ militaries to stand on their own. Our goal is to empower African nations to stop maritime crime and the movement of illegal goods at sea on their own. To do that, we are working together to create a set of shared goals, including improving maritime security which will help ensure African coastal nations are better able to protect their own resources and citizens.
Working together through this shared vision, we are all contributing to safety and prosperity throughout Africa.
APS provides a unique opportunity for various agencies and non-governmental organizations from Africa, the United States and Europe to work together. Since APS typically takes place on ships, it does not require a permanent base in Africa. The ship functions as a mobile university, moving from port to port to provide training and long-term collaboration between American, European and African nations. During each of these port visits, APS offers specific courses of training to build and develop partnerships and achieve common goals through working together.
The idea for APS began in 2006 during a series of maritime conferences in West and Central Africa when African leaders stated their desire to improve the ability of African countries to govern their waters and create a stable maritime environment. The first official APS mission deployed in November 2007 for six months. To date, APS visits have trained thousands of military personnel in skills such as seamanship, search and rescue operations, law enforcement, medical readiness, environmental stewardship and small boat maintenance.