Over the past decade there’s been a steady rise across Africa in the attention given to the responsible use of the oceans to contribute to economic growth — or what’s known as the Blue Economy. The opportunities around Africa’s blue economies are enormous with significant potential to create jobs and improve livelihoods. But what’s often missing in debates are issues of governance and security. Five themes are particularly important to ensure both: safety and security, rule of law and transparency, respect for human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and human development. Neglecting these issues will hamper the potential growth promised by Africa’s oceans. Africa’s vast coastline hosts a maritime industry estimated at $1 trillion per year. This is only scratching the surface. Africa has 38 coastal states and a number of island states like Cape Verde, Sao Tomé and Principe, Mauritius, Seychelles and the Comoros. Collectively African coastal and island states encompass vast ocean territories of an estimated 13 million km².