The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in partnership with the Government of Denmark is organizing the “Developing Maritime Security Culture in the Gulf of Guinea” Course.
A statement issued by the KAIPTC and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the Course, which would be rolled out in five phases, would be held in Accra, Cotonou and Lagos in 2020 and 2021, beginning in Takoradi from 26th October to 6th November.
It said the course would cover topics such as; legal and policy frameworks on maritime security, maritime security threat response in the Gulf of Guinea, mapping maritime security actors, gaps in maritime security architecture in the Gulf of Guinea, state action at sea (i.e. national maritime security committees), managing relationships and inter-agency collaboration, maritime intelligence, information sharing and management and incidence reporting mechanisms in the Gulf of Guinea.
It said participants would be drawn from the navy, judiciary, marine police, Fisheries Commission, private shipping companies and civil society organizations.
It said the course aims to contribute to improving security in the Gulf of Guinea by enhancing collaboration and cooperation among agencies responsible for maritime security in Ghana.
It said maritime crimes such as piracy, armed robbery at sea, kidnapping for ransom, illegal fishing and hijackings among others are recurrent along the area known as the Gulf of Guinea, making it the most dangerous shipping route in the world presently.
It noted that data shows that crew kidnappings increased more than fifty percent from 78 in 2018 to 121 in 2019, with over ninety percent of global crew kidnappings reported at sea in 2019 occurring in the Gulf of Guinea.
The statement said aside posing as a threat to international and regional shipping, it further undermines the security and development of the Gulf of Guinea littoral states.
"Aside the exposure to theoretical underpinnings, participants will have simulation sessions during the training to acquaint them with skills to manage real life situations," it said.
"Additionally, a panel discussion will be held with speakers from both the formal and informal maritime sectors."
The statement said recommendations from the discussions was expected to contribute to the efforts in enhancing an intimate working relationship among maritime actors.
It said the remarkable and invaluable support of the Government of Denmark to maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea was worthy of mention and commendation.
It said beginning with their co-funding of the EU-led GoGIN-programme from 2015-2018, they also initiated a dedicated Danish Maritime Security Programme from 2019 to 2021.
It said the results of the interventions were the coordination of activities of Gulf of Guinea countries in ECOWAS and ECCAS for effective knowledge sharing and collaboration through research and capacity building of maritime actors.
"Thus, Danish Government is fully committed to increasing safety and security of national and international ships in the Gulf of Guinea, and to securing peace in West Africa and the continent as a whole."