As the main entry points for goods, ports are of strategic importance to African economies, worldwide, 90% of trade is carried out by the sea.
In Africa, the Gulf of Guinea and more precisely the Central and West coasts which are among the most frequented intercontinental crossroads constitute an area of increasing concentration of all types of vessels. Naturally, this density of traffic is viewed favourably by fraud organizations to carry out all kinds of crimes which include drugs, fake medicines, protected species, weapons among others.
The Interregional Maritime Security Institute (ISMI) cannot remain indifferent to these threats and has taken its responsibilities. Thus, the 2nd phase of the training course on targeting and searching ships ends today in Dakar, which is home to the emblematic port of the subregion.
After Abidjan in 2019, the Savana Hotel in Dakar will host this training which alternates theoretical and practical phases with sequences on board ships for all trainees. Moreover, the majority of the trainees who are already operational have followed the level 1 course which was on the same subject. About fifteen participants are made up of customs officers, police officers, administrators of maritime affairs, naval officers from five countries namely Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire.
In the opening address, Guillaume Turquet de Beauregard, Regional Coordinator of the State Action at Sea in the Gulf of Guinea said the objective of this training is to acquire the useful and essential technical know-how that ... will enable effective investigations to be carried out on board.
"If searching a ship is not improvised, this is explained among other things because a ship does not surrender easily, and is in many ways a particularly complex area to explore," he continued. For him, "anyone who has ever studied a ship's plans will understand this. Many of these areas are not free of danger to human life (going down into a ballast tank, for example, can be a trap). This is why the emphasis throughout the course was placed on the safety operations to be carried out for oneself and others."
The training organized and financed by the French cooperation through the Directorate of Cooperation of Security and Defence and the Directorate-General of Customs and Indirect Taxes also benefited from the support of the Ivorian State.