Graduation Ceremony of the second CRIMGO courses initiated by the European Union under the project ?Fight against piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea” at the Regional Maritime University (RMU)

DSC08478For the second time, with the support of the European Union (EU) Critical Maritime Route project for Gulf of Guinea (CRIMGO) project, the Regional Maritime University (RMU) in Accra, has delivered an innovative training, to 42 mid-managers and operators from seven coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea (Benin, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo). This was after eight weeks of undergoing various courses on maritime security. The participants were presented with certificates, at a ceremony in Accra on 15 July 2015.

In his remarks, Ambassador William Hanna, Head of the EU in Ghana stated that during the Summit of Gulf of Guinea Heads of State in Yaound? on 24-25 June 2013, member states of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) showed their determination to face these challenges through a common regional approach: the ‘Code of Conduct Concerning the Repression of Piracy, Armed Robbery Against Ships and Illicit Activity in West and Central Africa’, in line with UN Security Council resolutions 2018 and 2039.

“Within this context and given the significant shared interests between Gulf of Guinea States and EU, a Gulf of Guinea Strategy was approved by the Council of the EU in March 2014. This Strategy and its Action Plan, building also on the regional momentum that was created at the Yaound? Summit, is aiming at providing appropriate support to regional organisations (ECOWAS, ECCAS, GGC) as well as to individual states to help them design effective strategies to tackle the challenges and implement them in a coordinated manner, in accordance with the Code of Conduct”.

“We the EU have now an opportunity to work together with the regional African-led coordinating platforms that are developing. Ultimately, this strategic framework will allow us to better judge and plan the EU?s work with its partners in the Gulf of Guinea in a more coherent way. Increasing the EU?s focus now on coordinating better will have significant effects on security, investor confidence, prosperity, livelihoods, the environment, and energy supplies”.

The Vice-Chancellor of the Regional Maritime University (RMU), Pf Elvis Nyarko stated, “We churn out a continuous stream of persons with the requisite skills to deal with all aspects of the maritime industry, both the good and the bad. Such highly placed persons in governmental circles would be able to better manage national resources, ensure the improvement of their respective maritime economies and have the capacity to face modern threats, in a better secured Gulf of Guinea”.

VADM Jean-Pierre Labonne, CRIMGO Team Leader observed that the closing ceremony of course only marks the end of the session, stressing that the main objective for the graduates is now to practice what they learned during these two months. He noted that CRIMGO will support exercises at sea at national and regional levels with partner?s countries and will rely on the strong participation and expertise of those trained in building up teams of these exercises.

The feedbacks of the participants were very positive. One participant stated: ?CRIMGO courses are fitted to our needs. We improve our skills, share our various experience and, at the end of the day, we have the feeling to be part of the first regional professional network amongst maritime domain bodies, to sort any concerns and support our respective countries in the building of adequate solutions to face modern maritime issues?.


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