22 September 2023: The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) with funding support from the Government of Denmark has embarked on an eight-days capacity building of actors in the maritime domain in Congo Brazzaville.

It is under the Integrated Responses to Threats to Maritime Safety and Security in the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Domain in West and Central Africa (2022-2026) project.

The commandant of KAIPTC, Major General Richard Addo Gyane, in his address, said the Gulf of Guinea maritime domain was a vital trade route for oil, gas, and diverse commodities, while accommodating traffic from fishing vessels, tankers, and cargo ships even though the area had become a den for persistent maritime crimes, including piracy and armed robbery at sea.

According to Maj Gen Gyane, the prevailing threats in the maritime domain had evolved over the years and that in the past decade since the Yaoundé Processes in 2013, states had recognized the necessity of pooling their efforts to safeguard their maritime territories.

“This collective approach fosters a maritime security culture in the Gulf of Guinea anchored in trust, confidence building, information exchange, and coordinated action. As the Yaoundé Code of Conduct marks its 10th year, we find ourselves at a juncture to reflect upon the maritime governance progress in the Gulf of Guinea. While acknowledging the ongoing challenges, it is imperative to celebrate even incremental successes, as they serve as beacons illuminating the path toward enhanced maritime order,” he said.

The Commandant also revealed that the training would delve into the current trends of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea to equip themselves with knowledge and competencies that would underpin the implementation of national and regional maritime security policies.

That endeavor, he said, further sought to enhance inter-agency cooperation and the judicious allocation of resources, contributing to a fortified maritime domain. “This training is meticulously curated with insights from maritime security experts, and mirrors the dynamic realities on ground. Our aspiration is for this course to serve as a catalyst, complementing the ongoing efforts to empower maritime stakeholders with proactive strategies against threats,” he added.

Mr. Jean Pascal KOUMBA, General Secretary of the Pointe-Noire Department, Republic of Congo said, that majority of regional and international initiatives on maritime security targeted at the States of the Gulf of Guinea called for the operationalisation of the Yaoundé architecture at ensuring coherent maritime security as part of a sustainable approach to maritime domain management.

He said, the operationalisation process required training, which was essential to securing the maritime spaces. “Training is therefore the keystone of effective action in the field by the administrative staff in charge of enforcing maritime laws, in line with the vision of regional maritime integration,” he said.

The Prefect of Pointe-Noire said the approach highlighted the political will of the Congolese authorities, particularly His Excellency Denis SASSOU N’GUESSO, President of the Republic of Congo, to respond effectively to the maritime security problems.