We need international framework to address maritime security - Chief of Naval Staff

Accra, July 7, GNA - Rear Admiral Issa Adam Yakubu, the Chief of Naval Staff, has underscored the need for a regional and international framework to deal with maritime security in the sub-region.

He, therefore, called for continuous collaboration towards building the capacities of enforcement agencies in the sub-region to combat the threats of maritime security, including drug smuggling, human trafficking, piracy and armed robbery at sea.

Rear Admiral Yakubu said this on Wednesday at the second edition of the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference in Accra, hosted by the Ghana Navy and the Ghana Airforce.

The Conference was on the theme: “Maritime Security and Trade, the Nexus between a Secured Maritime Domain and a Developed Blue Economy.”

It brought together participants from Africa's maritime industry to share ideas and deliberate on maritime security issues facing the Gulf of Guinea Region, which has witnessed a surge in threats to maritime security in recent times.

The conference is also to strengthen regional cooperation and interoperability and to promote inter-agency approaches to curbing maritime security.

Rear Admiral Yakubu said more than 80 per cent of global trade was moved by sea, but sadly the Gulf of Guinea had been touted as the most dangerous waters in the world due to maritime insecurity.

He said the Ghana Navy in March, this year, organised a training exercise christened: “Obangame Express 2021”, aimed at building the capacities of Navies in the sub-region to maintain a safe and secured maritime environment.

The exercise, Rear Admiral Yakubu said, was designed to involve stakeholders in Ghana’s maritime industry to ensure interoperability between the Navies and as well focus on information sharing between the participants.

He stated that since the beginning of 2021, the Gulf of Guinea had recorded 18 maritime cases, stressing that the menace must be considered holistically for effective solutions.

He said the conference would engender cooperation among stakeholders in the Gulf of Guinea to unify efforts to fight the threats of maritime security in the region.

Rear Admiral Yakubu said the conference would emphasise the practical implementation of some laid down inter-agency procedures towards managing maritime security threats.

Admiral Admiral Oumar Wade, the Senegalese Naval Chief of Staff, said the conference would build strong partnership to create a more secured world by learning from best practices in the maritime sector.

He said maritime security required a coordinated action between agencies and that there was the need to work together and strike the balance and develop efficient models in fighting maritime security in the sub-region.

Rear Admiral Awal Z. Gambo, the Chief of Naval Staff of Nigeria, called for continuous collaboration to reinforce the relationships among member states to learn from best and worse practices and ensure the safety of all in the sector.

He called for a regional collaboration in improving maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.