The European Union (EU), through the Support to West Africa Integrated Maritime Security (SWAIMS), has donated monitoring equipment to the Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre (MMCC) Zone F in Accra on Wednesday.
The donation is to help enhance the capability of the centre in its quest to secure the maritime domain of the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
Presenting the equipment, the EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly, said strengthening maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea was an important priority for the European Union and its member states.
He said the goal of the EU was to continue to assist the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), including Ghana to operationalise the Yaoundé architecture in the western part of the GoG.
“The starting point of the EU Gulf of Guinea strategy is the Yaoundé Architecture of 2013 which reflects the institutional ownership of the West and Central Africa regions,” he added.
The Resident Representative of ECOWAS in Ghana, Baba Gana Wakil, said the EU through the SWAIMS project had facilitated a lot of activities which had led to the operationalisation of the Yaoundé code of conduct.
“To be specific, the German government through the GIZ initiative donated equipment to the centre to commence its activities. In similar vein Gulf of Guinea Inter-regional Network (GOGIN) also supported the centre with office equipment,” he said.
According to Mr Wakil, to further consolidate the gains, the EU signed SWAIMS financing agreement with ECOWAS to provide monitoring equipment and additional office items to benefit both national and the MMCCs.
He stated that the centre was expected to enhance its capability as it strive for excellence in securing the maritime domain of the GoG adding that “these equipment have come at a strategic time and will improve the work of the centre.”
He said the centre was one of three ECOWAS Multinational Maritime Coordination Centres established as part of efforts to implement the ECOWAS Integrated Maritime strategy and the Yaounde code of conduct to combat maritime crimes within the region and by extension the Gulf of Guinea.
The Director of MMCC Zone F, Captain Noel Oboumou said the equipment would help the centre achieve its mission of coordinating maritime activities within its area of responsibility.
He mentioned that the centre had received regular support from international partners which included training and capacity building, facilitation of maritime joint exercises and donations.
The ECOWAS MMCC Zone F is made up of six countries namely Burkina Faso, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.