Greater Co-Operation key to safeguarding Maritime Domain – Pres Akufo-Addo

Greater Co-Operation key to safeguarding Maritime Domain – Pres Akufo-Addo

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has called for greater levels of co-operation and collaboration amongst the broad spectrum of global maritime stakeholders.

“No nation can afford to do it alone. Ghana, being cognizant of her responsibilities as a coastal state, is playing her part in collaborating with the international maritime community towards enhancing maritime security in the region and on the entire African continent,” he said.

That is why, “the African Maritime Forces Summit and Naval Infantry Leaders Symposium, thus, provide us with a unique opportunity to strengthen our partnerships, and enhance our collective capabilities.”

President Akufo-Addo said this at the opening of the second African Maritime Forces Summit and third Naval Infantry Leadership Symposium Africa in Accra on Tuesday, April 30, 2024.

Held under the theme, “Cooperation at Sea: Safeguarding African Maritime Security”, President the African Maritime Forces Summit and Naval Infantry Leaders Symposium, provide us with a unique opportunity to strengthen our partnerships, and enhance our collective capabilities through constructive dialogue, exchange of best practices, and exploring innovative solutions to the maritime security challenges facing our continent.”

Recognising the Gulf of Guinea region as a key route for international trade that connects all the major continents, from the Middle East and Asia to Europe and the Americas and the growing investments in the region, especially in offshore oil and gas infrastructures, he said the coastal trading and maritime traffic are bound to increase and with this growing wealth and geo-strategic relevance, the region has to cope with both traditional and emerging maritime security threats.

Whilst recognising that these transnational crimes do not only threaten national and regional peace and stability, but also come at a great cost to the economies of both coastal and non-coastal states, he was happy to note that, “piracy and armed robbery at sea, which are the most visible symptoms of insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, have, as a result of the co-ordination of efforts of the Nigerian and Ghanaian navies, been appreciably suppressed” and though they still remain important threats to national and regional maritime activities.

It is in lieu of this, he continued, that is why it is “imperative that we foster greater co-operation and collaboration amongst African maritime forces. By working together, sharing intelligence, and coordinating our efforts, we can address effectively maritime security threats, and safeguard our maritime domain.”

He noted that, to this end, several collaborative efforts have been advanced by African countries which included regional collaborations between neighbouring countries to improve the approach to dealing with maritime crimes such as the operationalisation of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct to deal with maritime crimes and the revision of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, which had been moribund for some time, to contribute to securing the peace and stability of the Gulf of Guinea.

On the part of Ghana, he pointed out government’s commitment towards the retooling of the Ghana Navy and the Ghana Armed Forces, amply demonstrated in the commissioning of some twenty vessels for the Navy with the process of acquiring two Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Navy also far advanced as well as the building of a new Naval Base in the Western Region which is also nearly completed.

“These investments would help safeguard the security of our maritime space, and lead to an accelerated growth of our blue economy. Other African countries have shown similar commitments, and collaboration with our key partners have ensured the significant improvement in the security of Africa’s maritime domain,” he said.

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