"Throughout the history of the Indian Ocean, littoral, island and extra-regional states have vied to secure their trade routes,which in turn affects Africa. By reviewing the stakeholders’ dynamics in the Indian Ocean, the implications and challenges for Africa can be analysed. The stakeholder review analyses the attributes and constituency of the Indian Ocean, develops a common position for definitions and gives a select history of the world’s third largest ocean.Countries that have historically frequented the Indian Ocean continue to do so, but the intensity of their activities has increased, as their objectives centre on the common denominator of ensuring energy security and advancing maritime trade. These issues are critical not only for their survival in a world of diminishing resources and increased globalised competition,but also for emerging countries’ economies to continue to grow exponentially. In contrast to the Indian Ocean’s increased dynamics, continental Africa’s position appears to be characterised by a passive approach. This inert position does not allow Africa to set the agenda for events that are changing the dynamics in its zone of influence, yet for which there are normative developmental imperatives."