KAIPTC continues roll-out of training course on Maritime security to address threats facing Gulf of Guinea

Accra, 15th March:  The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) on Monday, March 15, 2021, commenced the third session of the training course titled “Developing Maritime Security Culture in the Gulf of Guinea” at the City Escape Hotel, Prampram to address the various challenges facing the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).

The course is expected to run until March 24, 2021, and is organised in collaboration with the Government of Denmark.

Although there has been a significant drop in the number of maritime crime incidents around the globe, the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) continues to experience an increasing number of maritime crimes in both international and territorial waters, making it the most dangerous shipping route in the world at the moment.

In the first half of 2020 alone, the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) recorded 98 incidents of piracy and armed robbery, up from 78 in 2019. These crimes include piracy, armed robbery at sea, kidnapping for ransom, illegal fishing and hijackings among others. Despite the implementation of a number of initiatives from Gulf of Guinea states to enhance security, series of factors contribute to weakening the national and regional response to maritime security threats in the GoG.

To contribute to a safer maritime domain, KAIPTC has assembled experts from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Police, Fisheries Commission, Ports Authority, Private Shipping Companies from eight African countries comprising Ghana, Liberia, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

In his welcome address at the opening of the course, Prof. Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, the Director of Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research at the KAIPTC, noted that the increase in maritime crimes along the GoG has made it a necessity for countries in the region to immediately develop a Maritime security culture. Prof. Aning further noted that the KAIPTC is keen on providing the necessary platforms for countries to collaborate and share intelligence and information to safeguard the security of the region.

Giving his address, the Commandant of KAIPTC, Major General Francis Ofori shared that the crimes recorded on the GoG are worrying and needs to be urgently resolved.

He said in a bid to tackle the menace, there is the need for increased and shared intelligence, information exchange, coordination between vessels, and among reporting and response agencies in the GoG region, and stressed the need to have a shared maritime security culture in all the GoG states.

Major General Francis Ofori continued that it is the hope of the KAIPTC that through the training course, the capacities of key actors in maritime security will be strengthened so that there will be a joint response in combating maritime insecurity in the GoG.

The Commandant concluded, “We are grateful to our partners, the Government of Denmark and the Inter-Regional Coordinating Centre (ICC) for their continuous support in this endeavor.”

Delivering a keynote address, the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Tom Nørring condemned activities of pirates and the crimes being committed in the GoG,

While underscoring the importance of the eight-day course, H.E. said ensuring maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is necessary, as it will enhance economic growth for the region with the vast majority of trade going by sea.

The Danish Ambassador to Ghana said he is optimistic after the course, participants will have needed knowledge to boost maritime security when they return to their states of operation.

“I am confident that the knowledge you will acquire through the training will improve the important role you are playing in your various capacities to support maritime security initiatives both at the regional and the national level. This I believe will go a long way to contribute to improved and sustainable security in the Gulf of Guinea waters,” H.E. Tom Nørring told participants.

Going on to acknowledge the efforts by KAIPTC to contribute to the implementation of the Yaoundé Code of conduct through training, research and policy dialogue to promote maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea region, H.E. Tom Nørring further indicated that the Government of Denmark is committed to supporting the agenda of enhancing maritime security in West Africa through its Danish Maritime Security for the Gulf of Guinea.

The course is the third in the capacity building outputs of the project undertaken by the KAIPTC with the Government of Denmark. The pilot course was held at Takoradi, Ghana in October, 2020.

The second course took place in Cotonou in Benin in November, 2020 and built the capacities of 54 personnel from relevant agencies.

Throughout the course, participants will be exposed to current knowledge on maritime security in the GoG. The course has been designed with inputs from maritime security experts in the sub-region and reflects the most current realities on the ground.

For further information, please contact the Corporate Affairs Unit of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) on +233 302 718200 ext 1104/1203. You can find the KAIPTC on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube as: @Kaiptcgh and on instagram @Kaiptc. You can further find out more about the KAIPTC on our website: www.kaiptc.org.

About the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre:

The Ghana Ministry of Defence (MoD) established the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in 1998 and commissioned it in 2004. The purpose was to build upon and share Ghana’s five decades of internationally acclaimed experience and competence in peace operations with other states in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region and the rest of Africa. This was in recognition of the need for training military, police and civilian men and women to meet the changing demands of multidimensional peace operations. The Centre is one of the three (3) Peacekeeping Training Centres of Excellence mandated by the ECOWAS to offer training in peacekeeping and peace support operations (PSO) in Africa.

The Centre delivers training courses in three thematic areas; Peace Support Operations, Conflict Management and Peace and Security Studies and also runs Masters and PhD programmes in same. The KAIPTC has a world-class research department that undertakes research in the thematic areas in Peace and Security. Located in Accra, Ghana, the KAIPTC is an internationally recognized institution and has to date trained and tutored over 21, 496 participants and students since its inception.

KAIPTC is a gender-sensitive organization and committed to gender equality. Following the launch of its gender policy in 2014, the Centre has mainstreamed gender into its policies and programmes, and integrates same in its focal areas, namely training, research and postgraduate education. The Centre has developed a Sexual Harassment policy and fully oriented employees on same. It has also provided a Nursing and Childcare Centre and instituted a paternity leave policy, all with the aim to create a conducive work environment at KAIPTC.