The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral, Seth Amoama is calling for deeper cooperation and collaboration from relevant partners of countries along the Gulf of Guinea.
Rear Admiral, Seth Amoama maintains, Naval Forces of the countries on the gulf alone cannot maintain maritime security.
According to him, every area of maritime security has its dimensions that required cooperation and collaboration with relevant actors to drive up issues such as environmental protection, sustainable fishing and over-exploitation of other resources in the sea.
The Chief of Naval Staff observed that, as naval forces in the Gulf of Guinea, the threats of invoking their ‘policing roles’ is disturbing despite their efforts at safeguarding the territorial waters. Rear Admiral, Seth Amoama was speaking at the opening of a three day International Forum on the Implementation of the Yaoundé Protocol at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) in Accra.
The forum, funded by the Government of Denmark brought together senior Naval Officers, Professionals from diversified backgrounds. The participants seek to among other discuss and offer support for research, training of maritime security practitioners and actors to establish a platform for dialogue among international and national actors.
Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Major General Francis Ofori stated that the Gulf of Guinea is the hub of extensive transAtlantic commerce connecting the western parts of Africa with the rest of the world.
He said “Maritime threats are a common phenomenon especially in the Gulf of Guinea. Reports from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and a plethora of similar International and Regional Agencies often identify issues such as attacks on sea-based transportation equipment, networks and cargoes.”
He added that the Maritime Domain is one big space that enjoys the confluence of transnational economic resources, state authority, commerce and crime.
He noted that the KAIPTC and its partners are optimistic that the full implementation of this project will enhance comprehensive national and regional response to the threats to maritime safety and security particularly in the Gulf of Guinea.
Again, the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama further mentioned that as parts of the implementation of the Yaounde Code of Conduct, Ghana also hosts the ECOWAS Maritime Zone F which groups the countries between Ghana and Liberia as well as Burkina Faso to work together to preserve the marine resources in the territorial waters.
He explained that members of the Multi-National Maritime Coordination Centre (MMCC) Zone F have signed series of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) to form the cornerstone for multinational cooperation. “Ghana remains committed to all these initiatives and awaits the outcome of its fruitful deliberations in the next few days,” he mentioned.
Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol mentioned that the Gulf of Guinea is essential to the economies of the countries bordering it. She said “About 90% of the Region’s International trade is moving by sea, the offshore oil sector has an estimated 4.5% of the world’s reserves and have only started being developed, and fishery is providing the livelihood for millions of people.”
The Ambassador stressed, Denmark is a prominent maritime nation with strong seafaring traditions. She intimates that shipping is fundamentally global, and for International seafaring nations such as Scandinavian, the Gulf of Guinea is important. Madam Degnbol believes that the forum will support research, training of maritime security practitioners among others to help establish a dialogue among the International and National Actors.