USACC chamber urges economic solutions to piracy
The U.S. African Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday stressed that diplomatic solutions will be more successful in tackling Somali piracy than military action.
In a statement, the chamber encouraged world leaders to develop a unified response to the root problems in Somalia and East Africa that engender piracy.
'Analyzing the root of the problem, the USACC highlights the growing younger generation on the African continent together with the increasing environmental and health related concerns and deteriorating political conditions,' the chamber said. 'These elements combined have bred social unrest and created a situation that is ripe for piracy as a means of livelihood for the African peoples and a demonstration to the world of the desperate situation in which many African youth and children find themselves.'
The chamber said 60 percent of Africa's population of more than one billion people is under the age of 20 — a group that could be a key consumer segment in the global economy but is instead starved of opportunity.
'Drained of inspiration, the younger generation and their despair have fueled social unrest, and with the political instability and incompetence of organized government to offer an effective resistance, this unrest has given birth to the incidents of piracy in Somali waters,' the statement said.
'The USACC acknowledges the fact that this situation affords no easy remedy. Any short-term solution based on military strength aimed at addressing the hopeless situation and the repeat occurrence of pirate attacks that have resulted will surely encounter defeat. In addition, any effort that refuses to address the underlying root causes of this dilemma will afford no remedy whatsoever.'
Rather than resolutions that call for humanitarian aid and military force, the chamber is calling for a 'determined and sustained effort to construct a vibrant economic market on the African continent. Global leaders must come together and aid the emerging African market now before piracy becomes a livelihood for desperate and starving children and youth in Africa.'