The European Union has supported the ECOWAS Multinational Maritime Coordination Center Zone ‘F’ (MMCC) in Ghana with communication and office gadgets to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The presentation of the equipment is part of Support to the ECOWAS West Africa Integrated Maritime Security (SWAIMS) Project with the objectives to improve maritime governance and law enforcement frameworks and to strengthen law enforcement operational capacities.
The EU signed the SWAIMS Financing Agreement with ECOWAS to provide monitoring equipment and additional office items to benefit both National and the Multinational Maritime Coordination Centres.
Mr Irchard Razaaly, the Ambassador of EU to Ghana, presenting the equipment, said: “Strengthening maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is a priority for the European Union and the EU Member States.”
He said in the last two years, many activities had taken place where the EU and the ECOWAS member states, including Ghana worked together in trainings, port calls, capacity building and joint exercise.
“These activities and efforts enable the region to invest in the capacity of coastal states to detect, apprehend and convict perpetrators of piracy and other maritime crimes,” Mr Razaaly said.
He said the EU would continue to support the Gulf of Guinea region and Ghana both politically and financially to help tackle piracy, adding that, “it is important to ensure maritime security and stability, and a sustainable Blue Economy.”
Mr Baba Gana Wakil, Resident Representative of ECOWAS in Ghana, said the EU’s contribution in the fight against transnational maritime crimes in the region was commendable.
The Resident Representative of ECOWAS, receiving the items on behalf of the ECOWAS MMCC Zone F, said the equipment had come at a strategic time and would greatly improve the work of the Centre.
“With the equipment, the Centre is expected to enhance its capability as it strives for excellence in securing the maritime domain of the Gulf of Guinea,” Mr Wakil said.
Captain Noel Oboumou, the Director of ECOWAS MMCC Zone F, Said the Center, since its establishment in 2018, had received regular support from international partners, including the European Union, which had facilitated cooperation, collaboration, and inter-operability of Zone F Member States.
“We gather here today to receive another batch of equipment from SWAIMS Project. The equipment will enable us to accomplish our mission,” he said.