Six-week EU-SWAIMS training begins at RMU

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A six-week Support for West Africa Integrated Maritime Security (SWAIMS) training in maritime affairs and security began at the Regional Maritime University (RMU) in Accra on Tuesday.

Sponsored by the European Union (EU), the ongoing training which is the fourth edition forms part of efforts to build the capacity and competencies of staff and personnel of maritime focus agencies and institutions across Africa to combat maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.

Participating countries including the Ivory Coast, Niger, Togo, and Ghana would be taken through areas of maritime insecurity by renowned experts from the maritime industry, defense and security, shipping and fishing industry, academia, and research institutions.

The Ag. Vice Chancellor of the RMU, Dr Jethro W. Brooks in a speech read on his behalf by the Registrar Dr Baboucarr Njie disclosed that the Gulf of Guinea recorded 132 incidents in 2020 including armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, violent armed boarding, and hijacking.

Through collaborative efforts of Gulf of Guinea states and with support from international partners such as SWAIMS in areas of equipment and training, the region recorded a significant decline in maritime piracy incidents for the past three years.

“For example, the number of incidents reduced from 132 in 2020 to 74 in 2021, 41 in 2022 and 36 in 2023. Similarly, the number of crew kidnapped has also reduced from 136 in 2020 to 90 in 2021 and to 35 in 2022,” he stated.

“This indicates the significant milestone that has been achieved. It is however worth noting that the region is not out of the woods yet as in 2022, a total of eight crew members were killed and injured,” he stressed.

He therefore urged the participants of the fourth edition of the SWAIMS training to seize the opportunity to also network and build trust for better coordination and information sharing.

On his part, SWAIMS Project Coordinator, Ing. Augustus Addy Lamptey said he was excited that they were able to implement the fourth and final cohort of training in maritime affairs and security despite the challenges they encountered.

“Indeed, the EU/SWAIMS project may be arguably identified as one of the projects that has influenced remarkably the positive developments in the maritime security value chain,” he stated.

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