Participants after the opening session
Participants after the opening session

6-Week maritime security training underway at RMU

A six-week training programme known as Support for West Africa Integrated Maritime Security (SWAIMS) is underway at the Regional Maritime University (RMU) in Accra.


This initiative, now in its fourth edition and sponsored by the European Union (EU), aims to bolster the skills and capabilities of personnel from various maritime-focused agencies and institutions across Africa.

The primary objective is to address the ongoing challenges related to maritime insecurity within the Gulf of Guinea region. Participating nations, including Ivory Coast, Niger, Togo and Ghana, are being led through a comprehensive curriculum on maritime security by esteemed experts hailing from diverse sectors such as maritime industries, defence, security, shipping, fishing, academia and research institutions.

During the opening ceremony, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of RMU, Dr Jethro W. Brooks, in a speech read on his behalf by the Registrar, Dr Baboucarr Njie, touched on the persistent struggle against maritime crimes despite collective efforts.

He cited alarming statistics from the Gulf of Guinea, where 132 incidents were reported in 2020 alone, ranging from armed robbery to kidnapping and hijacking.

Collaborative initiatives

Dr Brooks highlighted the positive impact of collaborative initiatives like SWAIMS, which contributed to a notable decrease in piracy incidents over the past three years. For instance, the number of reported incidents dropped from 132 in 2020 to 36 in 2023, demonstrating substantial progress.

“For example, the number of incidents reduced from 132 in 2020 to 74 in 2021, 41 in 2022 and 36 in 2023. Similarly, the number of crew kidnapped has also reduced from 136 in 2020 to 90 in 2021 and to 35 in 2022.

“This indicates the significant milestone that has been achieved. It is, however, worth noting that the region is not out of the woods yet, as in 2022, a total of eight crew members were killed and injured,” he stressed.

Dr Brooks stressed the crucial role of increased collaboration and advanced training, underscoring the necessity of programmes like SWAIMS.

Maritime security

The SWAIMS Project Coordinator, Augustus Addy Lamptey, expressed enthusiasm for overcoming obstacles in implementing the training, considering it a pivotal project in advancing maritime security.

“Indeed, the EU/SWAIMS project may be arguably identified as one of the projects that has remarkably influenced the positive developments in the maritime security value chain,” he stated.

The course modules cover various critical areas, including maritime crisis management, legal frameworks and incident reporting mechanisms, with a focus on enhancing safety and security practices in the maritime domain. 

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