Dr Ali Kamal-Deen is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Nelson Mandela University. He is a founding member and Executive Director of the Center for Maritime Law and Security Africa (CEMLAWS Africa). He is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (where he teaches law and international relations), and a visiting lecturer at both the International Maritime Law Institute (Malta) and the Interregional Maritime Safety Institute (ISMI), Abidjan. He is an editor of Vol II of the book project The Law of the Sea – Contemporary Norms and Practice in Africa.

Dr Kamal-Deen has an excellent blend of professional and academic experience. His academic and professional experiences span International Law, International Relations, Ocean Governance, Defense and Security. He served for 20 years in the Ghana Armed Forces during which he worked in multiple roles, both home and abroad, including being the Director of Research at the Ghana Armed Forces Staff College, Legal Director of the Ghana Navy and Staff member of UN Peacekeeping Missions in Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo. He is a consultant and technical expert to a number of international institutions including UNODC, UNDP, UNECA and the African Union. He is a Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Ghana, and Senior Research Fellow at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security and an Associate at the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies, UK. He currently serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Defence, Security and Strategy and the Journal on Marine Policy and on the advisory board STRONG High Seas Project.

He holds a PhD (with Special Commendation) from the University of Wollongong, Australia.His other academic qualifications include Master of Law, Master of Arts in International Affairs and Bachelor of Law. He has published widely and his book “Maritime Security Cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea: Prospects and Challenges" (2015) is rated as a significant contribution to global knowledge. As a Technical Expert to the UN High Panel on Sustainable Ocean Economy, he recently Co-authored Blue Paper 16, Organized Crime in the Fisheries Sector, which was launched on 18 August 2020.  His research interests include ocean governance, maritime security, international relations and security studies. He has a number of publications to his credit including the following:

Book Chapters

  • Kamal-Deen, A., Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood, eds., The Law of the Sea ‒ Contemporary Norms and Practice in Africa, Vol.2, (Expected by close of 2021).
  • Kamal-Deen, A. (2015). Maritime security cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea: Prospects and challenges. Brill.
  • Kamal-Deen, A. (2012). The concept of collective ownership in ship: A Policy Instrument for Maritime Transport. Saarbrücken: LAP Lambert Acad. Publ.

Journal Articles

  • Kamal-Deen, A., Ahmed, S., Sarr, C., Kabore, Y., Kahasha, G., & Bangwe, L. et al. (2021). Nourishing nations during pandemics: why prioritize fish diets and aquatic foods in Africa. Maritime Studies. doi: 10.1007/s40152-021-00236-z.
  • Kamal-Deen, A., Witbooi, E., Santosa, M. A., Hurley, G., Husein, Y., Maharaj, S. ... & Salas, O. (2020). Organized crime in the fisheries sector threatens a sustainable ocean economy. Nature588 (7836), 48-56.
  • Kamal-Deen, A. (2015). The anatomy of Gulf of Guinea piracy. Naval War College Review68 (1), 93-118.
  • Kamal-Deen, A., & Tsamenyi, M. (2013). Fault lines in maritime security: Analysis of maritime boundary uncertainties in the Gulf of Guinea. African Security Review, 22 (3), 95-110.
  • Kamal-Deen, A. (2004). Legal and Policy Dimensions of Coastal Zone Monitoring and Control: The Case in Ghana. Ocean Development & International Law, 35 (2), 179-194.

Book Chapters

  • Kamal-Deen, A. (2017). Anti-Piracy Responses in the Gulf of Guinea: Addressing the Legal Deficit. In Ocean Law and Policy (pp. 203-219). Brill Nijhoff.
  • Kamal-Deen, A. (2017). Ghana. In P. Vrancken & M. Tsamenyi, The Law of the Sea: The African Union and its Member States (pp. 371-405). Cape Town: Juta.
  • Kamal-Deen, A. & Schofield, C., (2015). Combating piracy and armed robbery at sea: from Somalia to the Gulf of Guinea. In Routledge Handbook of Maritime Regulation and Enforcement (pp. 313-328). Routledge.
  • Kamal-Deen, A. & Tsamenyi, M., (2012). African states and the Law of the Sea Convention: Have the benefits been realized? Ocean Yearbook Online26 (1), 113-160.

High Level Policy Paper and Contributions

  • Kamal-Deen Ali, Emma Witbooi, Mas Achmed Santosa, Blue Paper 16: Organized Crime in the Fisheries Sector (UN High Panel on Sustainable Ocean Economy, 2020).
  • Kamal-Deen Ali (Lead Expert), Draft Annexes to the Africa Charter on Maritime Security, Safety and Development (African Union, 2016).
  • Kamal-Deen Ali (Contributor), Blue Economic Policy Handbook for Africa, (UNECA 2014).



Last updated: 2021.09.10. A.A.

Contact information
Ali Kamal-Deen
Adjunct Professor