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Independent AfricaEU bolsters Maritime Security in Sub-Region

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EU bolsters Maritime Security in Sub-Region

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EU funds and completes EnMAR training for 15 port security officials from West and Central Africa in the Gulf of Guinea.

A regional ‘Port Security’ train-the-trainers program, spanning five days, focused on ISPS Code section 18.2 guidelines.

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EnMAR aims to boost maritime security and safety in the Gulf of Guinea by fostering political dialogue, improving EU security initiatives’ coherence, and strengthening operational capacities of national and regional partners.

Its primary goal is to reduce piracy and security expenditures. For example, UNODC reports the Gulf of Guinea faces significant direct and indirect costs from piracy and security threats, totaling US$1.9 billion annually.

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UNODC notes governments in the Gulf of Guinea spend over US$524 million yearly to combat piracy and armed robbery, emphasizing recent costs.

Regarding this threat, EU Delegation Deputy Ambassador to Ghana Jonas CLAES stressed the importance of Gulf of Guinea security for enhancing regional trade.

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“The issue of port security is an important and strategic topic in view of the potential linkages with global trade, organised crime and security,” he said at the training’s closing session in Accra.

CLAES revealed that feedback from Tema Port during the training program visit indicated that the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority is well-informed about current security mitigation measures.

Programme Manager of the EU- EnMAR project at Expertise France, Marie Gibrat, explained the training was the last of series of four regional sessions for port stakeholders of West and Central Africa.

“We were first in Douala to discuss cybersecurity in February, then we exchanged on crisis management in Abidjan in March; lastly, we learned about the management of dangerous goods in Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo at the last session in Accra,” she said.

Madam Gibrat expressed the EU’s eager anticipation of a forthcoming West and Central Africa Port Security (WeCAPS) project currently being discussed in Brussels.

Captain James Quayson, General Manager-Special Duty at GPHA, highlighted the valuable experience gained from sharing insights among harbor masters and port facility security officers from various ports in the Gulf of Guinea during the training.

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