American, African & Chinese Navies Gathering at The International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference in Ghana This July

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International Maritime Bureau: 22 Piracy Attacks in Q1, 2019

Admiral James G. Foggo, III: A safe, stable, and secure Africa is in the interest of the global community, our shared goals of a secure, stable, and prosperous Africa benefits not only our African partners and the U.S., but also the international community

– Rear Admiral Koi Alexis Maomou: IMDEC is a great opportunity to give, receive and discover new technological and scientific inventions in the field of defence and maritime safety

20 captains, commodores, rear admirals, vice admirals, & admirals discussing illegal oil-bunkering, piracy, unregulated and unreported fishing, smuggling, human and drug trafficking, illegal bunkering and crude oil theft on the 24th & 25th of July in Accra

In the first quarter of 2019, IMB reported 38 incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea, representing 28 fewer incidents than the first quarter of 2018 (66). IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre detailed that 27 vessels were boarded; seven vessels were fired upon and four attempted attacks occurred in the first quarter of 2019. No vessels were reported as hijacked for the first time since the first quarter of 1994.

The Gulf of Guinea represented a high number of piracy and armed robbery attacks at sea, with 22 incidents reported in the first quarter of 2019. The region also accounted for all of the worldwide crew kidnappings as 21 crew members were kidnapped across five separate incidents. Incidents were reported in the coastal countries, of Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria and Togo in the first quarter of 2019.

Piracy, illegal fishing, and armed robberies are some of the major issues threatening the Gulf of Guinea region are among the topics to be discussed at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (IMDEC), taking place on 24-25 July 2019 in Accra, Ghana. These threats not only disrupt regional stability but also hinder economic development. It is essential that international and intergovernmental players continue to build upon joint capabilities to alter this progression.

The Ghanaian Navy will host over 10 Chiefs of Navies from across Africa along with 250 international senior officials from Navies, Coast Guards and Marine Police at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (IMDEC), to discuss and address how to secure the increasingly volatile marine and coastal waters in Africa as well as stabilizing economic advancement and security on the crucial Gulf of Guinea. Ghana’s Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and The Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Seth Amoama will inaugurate the event.

Commenting on why the American Naval Forces are participating at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference, Admiral James G. Foggo, III, Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa, said: “A safe, stable, and secure Africa is in the interest of the global community. Not only do piracy and other illicit maritime activities threaten development efforts, weaken state security, and rob states of precious resources required for greater economic growth and effective governance, they can easily destabilize regions and create pockets for terrorism to thrive. Our shared goals of a secure, stable, and prosperous Africa benefits not only our African partners and the U.S., but also the international community”.

Commenting on participating in IMDEC, Rear Admiral Koi Alexis Maomou, Commander, Guinea Navy, said: “Being a meeting of professionals from the maritime and naval industries, the opportunity will be given to everyone to discuss the challenges and threats facing our maritime areas, find appropriate solutions to these challenges and threats and discover the new technologies allowing us to better fight against illicit activities at sea”.

“Of course, it will simply be an opportunity to give, receive and discover new technological and scientific inventions in the field of defense and maritime safety.” Rear Admiral Koi Alexis Maomou, added.

The latest Chiefs of Naval Staff to confirm their attendance as guests and speakers at International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (IMDEC) are Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff, Nigeria Navy, Rear Admiral Koi Alexis Maomou, Chief of Staff, Guinea Navy, Rear Admiral Momar Diagne, Chief of Naval Staff, Senegal Navy, Captain Kossi Mayo, Chief of Staff, Togo Navy.

Commenting on organizing IMDEC, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy, said: “The Ghana Navy celebrates the 60th Anniversary this year under the theme Celebrating 60 years of Naval Excellence: Securing the Maritime Domain for National Development. As part of activities to commemorate the occasion, we are in partnership with Great Minds Events Management to organize the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference in Accra Ghana from the 23rd -25th July 2019”.

Rear Admiral Seth Amoama continued: “I look forward to welcoming you to Accra as we are inviting all maritime stakeholders both local and international as well as chiefs of the navy’s sub- region and also from other international countries to come and discuss principle issues facing the maritime security of Africa and in particular the Gulf of Guinea”.

“At the conference we will explore modern technical innovations that will aid in curbing the illegal unregulated, unreported fishing dominating our maritime domain. We look forward to a rich conversation on information sharing and capacity building. we will also talk about cyber and electronic warfare. In addition, participants and attendees have the opportunity to visit the stands and exhibitions put in place by major defence and maritime industry to showcase modern and advanced technology in maritime severance defence command and control and a whole lot of technology to be displayed during this conference”, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy, added.

The latest report released by Ocean Beyond Piracy (OBP) showed that the economic cost of piracy to West Africa has been on the increase in the last three years, reaching over $818.1 million in 2017, while about $213.7 million was spent to contract maritime security personnel protecting vessels in the region. It revealed that regional spending on law enforcement and naval patrols increased by $13.2 million in the year.

Another 2018 report by the International Maritime Bureau, issued about piracy and armed robbery against ships revealed that total of 201 incidents were reported in 2018. The report stated some other alarming figures, as the violence against crew from January till December 2018, varied between 141 incidents of crew taken hostage, 83 kidnapped, 9 threatened, 8 injured, and 2 killed.

Unsafe, un-monitored anchorage areas vulnerable to threats at sea, Ghana ports and docks do not have enough capacity to load all cargo ships, nor the manpower to enforce Maritime Exclusion Zones. To address this, the Ghanaian Navy is procuring 4 patrol vessels ($7 mill.) and has recently received several patrol boats in the last few months. Ghana is creating a national maritime security framework endorsed by the Ghana Maritime Authority. However, $1.5 billion is being spent to enhance annual handling capacity at Tema port in Ghana.

Editor’s notes:

Hosted as part of the month-long 60th Anniversary celebrations, IMDEC will showcase exclusive milestones of Ghana Navy’s achievements as well as forecast its future accomplishments within the maritime sector under the theme “Celebrating 60 years under Naval Excellence: Securing the Maritime Domain for National Development” IMDEC is an international event and exhibition focusing on securing the increasingly volatile maritime and coastal waters of West Africa namely Gulf of Guinea, where 20 captains, commodores, rear admirals, vice admirals, & admirals from South Africa, all navies on gulf of Genia, Senegal, Kenya, China, France, & Portugal will discuss multiple crucial topics like overcoming illegal oil-bunkering, piracy, unregulated and unreported fishing, smuggling, human and drug trafficking, illegal bunkering and crude oil theft at the region’s waters, empowering interagency cooperation to jointly interdict threats around the Gulf of Guinea, governance and regulatory aspects, including compliance with ISPS codes, stabilizing economic growth at the region’s coasts and seas.

On Tuesday, 23 July 2019 an exclusive site visit to Sekondi Naval Base where delegates will be airlifted from Accra to Sekondi port by the Ghana Air Force for an exclusive site visit of the Takoradi Naval Base will take place. The tour will consist of an in-depth walk through of the naval dockyard and base as well as a private sea tour to further display the advanced capabilities of Ghana’s Naval fleet.

For more information email us at register@gmevents.ae or partnerships@gmevents.ae or call +971 (0) 4 568 7800 https://imdecafrica.com/

About the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEC):

Under the patronage of Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Seth Amoama and the Ghana Navy we are honoured to announce the program for the inaugural International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEC) in Accra, Ghana. The event will be part of Ghana’s 60 years of Naval Excellence celebration and is proud to feature the largest gathering of Africa’s maritime stakeholders, as we commemorate this important milestone.

The program aims to address the critical issues facing the Gulf of Guinea region such as interdicting regional maritime security threats, interagency cooperation as well as jointly identifying the key solutions required to achieve greater maritime stability.

Mariam Mikhail

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