Ghana Navy reaffirms commitment to safeguard maritime domain
Participants in a group photograph after the opening ceremony at the Busua Beach Resort.

Ghana Navy reaffirms commitment to safeguard maritime domain

The Ghana Navy has reiterated its commitment to ensure that it is ahead of contemporary maritime security challenges through collaborative efforts to make the country’s maritime domain safe to propel growth and development.

Speaking at this year’s Chief of Naval Staff’s Conference (CNSC) at Busua Beach Resort in the Ahanta-West District of the Western Region, the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo acknowledged that present-day marmite security challenges are diverse and rapidly evolving.

“Therefore, any navy which fails to evolve with time could soon find itself overtaken by events,” he said.

The three-day conference is being held to deliberate on ways to better project the country’s maritime domain in the light of increasing importance of Ghana’s offshore assets and multimillion-dollar oil and gas installations.

Rear Admiral Faidoo said the Conference theme of “Securing Ghana’s Maritime Domain: A Collaborative effort” was appropriate and in line with keeping pace with the changing threats”.

He explained that in modern maritime security philosophy, “no single entity or country can on its own achieve the desired security of its domain without collaboration and cooperation with relevant partners, allies and stakeholders.”

In such collaborations, he said, the Ghana Navy would step up its efforts to build ties with other maritime stakeholders within the country’s domain.

These stakeholders, he pointed out, include the Marine Unit of the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Petroleum Commission, Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas), West African Gas Pipeline Company, fishermen, Ghana Maritime Authority and other sub-regional and global actors.

“Ghana’s maritime domain, like other littoral countries is broad. It includes all areas and things of, on, under, relating to, adjacent to, or bordering on ocean or other activities, infrastructure, people, cargo vessel and other conveyances,” he said.

Securing a domain with such expansive coverage, he said, comes with unique challenges that demand multi-agency collaborative efforts to ensure safety.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo, (left) interacting with the Ahantahene, Otumfuo Baidoo Bonso XV (in cloth) and Lawyer Kojo Kum Member of Parliament for Ahanta West (middle) at the opening ceremony.


Ghana’s domain

The challenges in the country’s maritime domain, he said, manifests in many faces which include piracy, maritime terrorism which is a new and increasing threat, illicit drugs, trafficking in small arms and light weapons, armed robbery and human trafficking.

These threats, Rear Admiral Faidoo said, have resulted in the task becoming even more difficult for a single institution such as the Ghana Navy.

“Therefore, tackling the threats to Ghana’s maritime domain requires multi-stakeholder approach to succeed. It is thus prudent that the Ghana Navy strengthens its partnership and involve organisations from international and public and private sectors to facilitate and defend maritime trade,” he said.

The Chief of Naval Staff said such synergies would also preserve the freedom of the seas in the country’s maritime domain and maintain good governance at sea.

“It is also important to note that transnational groups and mostly irregular forces, remain the main threat to Ghana’s maritime domain today and in the foreseeable future,” he said.


History of conference

On his part, the host of the conference, the Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, Commodore Osei Kufour said due to the dynamics of modern maritime threats, there is critical need for naval forces such as the Ghana Navy meet to strategize.

He said as a result, in 2014, the Chief of Naval Staff Conference was instituted by the Naval High Command to deliberate on key strategic logistics and operational matters affecting the Ghana Navy and expressed the hope that the deliberations would go a long way to enhance its cause for the safe and just maritime domain for economic development.

The District Coordinating Director of the Ahanta West District Assembly, Mr. Ernest Odro commended the efforts of the stakeholders to ensure all players within the country’s maritime domain work in harmony.

He said it was important and gratifying to note that in recent engagements with the fishing community, it was clear that things were improving as stakeholders begin to communicate and share ideas.

As proof of the desire for a stronger collaboration, the regulator of the country’s oil and gas sector, the Petroleum Commission; the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas); and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority were part of this year’s conference.

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