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Training on maritime security ends in Accra

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Daniel Appianin (left), Deputy Director General, GMA, presenting a certificate of participation to a Navy officer who benefited from the training.

A training programme meant to equip and empower stakeholders in the maritime space with the skills and know-how to deal with insecurity and promote trade on the country’s territorial waters has ended in Accra.

The two weeks training, with 29 participants, focused on the Yaounde Architecture Regional Information System (YARIS).

The YARIS platform is an information sharing tool/system for maritime law enforcement agencies in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) region.

It is developed in partnership with the Gulf of Guinea Inter-Regional Network (GoGIN+) project to aid the implementation of the Yaoundé Architecture with the support of the European Union (EU).

Stakeholders commended

The Deputy Director General in charge of Operations at the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Daniel Appianin, at the closing ceremony for the training on July 15, commended stakeholders who participated in the exercise.

“Your energetic participation in this training session over the past two weeks reflects your commitment and desire to develop and promote information sharing efforts leading to a secured Gulf of Guinea which will ultimately enhance legitimate uses of our maritime domain.

“I would like to place on record our appreciation to the organisers and facilitators of this training session, particularly the European Union, Expertise France and GoGIN+.

“Your efforts and support at improving maritime security in the region through operationalisation of the Yaounde Architecture are commendable,” he said.

Collaboration

He said YARIS would help improve collaboration between coastal states to combat piracy and respond to the current maritime security challenges that the coastal GoG state members were facing, such as drugs and arm trafficking, illegal fishing, environmental damages, among others.

According to him, the system further provides and facilitates real-time coordination of maritime operations at various levels.

He said it also offers a wide range of complementary tools such as the creation of dedicated situations, opening logs, chats, building view layers and use of smart layers.

He added that these tools will help maritime law enforcement agencies facilitate effective, precise monitoring and coordination of maritime crisis situations.

Maritime safety

A Deputy Head of Delegation at the European Union, Pieter Smidt van Gelder, stated that YARIS would now link the main administrations and maritime services in Ghana, facilitating information exchange, coordination and decision-making during operations at sea.

He said the coordination of maritime safety and security was essential to monitor and combat any illegal activity at sea, including suspicious vessels, armed robbery, piracy and pollution.

“The Yaounde Code of Conduct signed in 2013 placed the information sharing at a strategic level and established a network of maritime centres (at national, zonal and regional levels), known as the Yaoundé Architecture, and Ghana is a signatory along with the other 18 signatory countries.

“The European Union has been supporting the implementation of this Code of Conduct from the very beginning, as well as the implementation of the The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) integrated maritime strategy and the Kinshasa protocol on the strategy for securing vital interests at sea of the Economic Community of Central African States,” he added.