The Ghana Navy has invited industry experts and military and law enforcement leaders to Accra for the Coastal and Maritime Surveillance Africa 2014 conference. The delegates are examining the threats, challenges and opportunities that are present in the Gulf of Guinea and Africa’s Atlantic coast.
“We’re looking for long term partnerships and standardization across our region. Working together is the best way to guarantee safety, security and economic prosperity of the region.”
In welcoming remarks, Vice President of Ghana Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur said there is enormous opportunity in developing the resources of the Gulf of Guinea, but also a huge cost presented by security worries that constrain investment. The potential is being undermined by domestic, regional and international threats. “We’re looking for long term partnerships and standardization across our region. Working together is the best way to guarantee safety, security and economic prosperity of the region.”
Chief of Naval Staff of the Ghana Navy Rear Adm. Geoffrey Mawuli Biekro, said that the maritime security situation in the Gulf of Guinea has caught the attention of the entire international community. “It is a threat to international peace and stability,” he said. “It is a challenge that transcends international boundaries.”
Ghanas’s maritime domain has changed significantly in the last few years, Biekro said. “The discovery of hydrocarbon deposits will change the economic environment and become the engine of national progress.”
He said the Ghana Navy is reorganizing to be more flexible, responsive, and adaptable, with platforms embracing modularity that can be quickly adapted for specific missions
“The discovery of hydrocarbon deposits will change the economic environment and become the engine of national progress.”
The vision is for more cooperation and information sharing with domestic partners and regional neighbors. Industry partners are important, too, he said, with some offering “complete solutions.” But, he added, state institutions must lead the way to safeguard issues of sovereignty.
Additional speakers at the conference have included senior officers from other nations in the region, including Nigeria, South Africa, Gabon, Cameroon, Benin, Ivory Coast, and industry sponsors.
Participants were able to visit the naval dockyard at Sekondi and air base at Takoradi as guests of the Ghana Navy and Air Force.
The event is produced by IQPC. Conference producer Michael Champion attributes the large attendance and smooth operation of the event to the close attention and involvement of the Ghana Navy.