The West Africa Regional Maritime Security Centre (CRESMAO) headquarters in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire) is inaugurated

Ivory Coast The West Africa Regional Maritime Security Centre CRESMAO headquarters in Abidjan Cte d'Ivoire is inaugurated
APR 3, 2022 LISTEN

The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) inaugurated the headquarters of the West Africa Regional Maritime Safety Centre (CRESMAO) on Thursday, 31 March 2022 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The headquarters was unveiled during a ceremony chaired by General Vagondo Diomande, Minister for Interior and Security, in the presence of his counterpart, Minister for Transport Amadou Kone, as well as H.E. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, General Francis Behanzin, ECOWAS Commissioner for Peace, Political Affairs and Security, and H.E. Fanta Cisse, ECOWAS Resident Representative in Côte d’Ivoire.

In his opening address, General Vagondo Diomande, on behalf of H.E. Patrick Achi, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, congratulated ECOWAS for its efforts and commitment to maritime security and safety in the Gulf of Guinea. He also recalled the mandate of CRESMAO which is to ensure the management and sharing of information, operational watch, coordination in case of crisis as well as training and capacity building. The Minister for Interior and Security ended his address with this commitment: “The Ivorian government will support and accompany the Centre in the implementation of its activities and the achievement of its objectives”.

Speaking before the opening address by the Ivorian Minister for Interior and Security, Commissioner Francis Behanzin, on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, thanked the Ivorian government for its constant support to CRESMAO since its creation in 2016. “The ceremony that brings us together here is the culmination of a long process, which began in 2009 with a reflection on maritime safety and security, and which has intensified with the collaboration with our sister community, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the result of which is the common strategic framework for maritime security,” he added.

Commissioner Behanzin, on behalf of President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, also thanked all the technical and financial partners for believing in this community project and for supporting ECOWAS since the beginning to address the challenges facing the Gulf of Guinea. “It is thanks to the efforts of Member States supported by partners, that we are pleased to note the recent improvement in the security situation in the Gulf of Guinea. This augurs well for the development of our national economies and the prosperity of our region,” the ECOWAS Commissioner concluded.

Rear Admiral Istifanus Mu'azu Albara, Director of CRESMAO, also spoke at the ceremony. In his speech, he outlined the strategic architecture of ECOWAS maritime security and the place of CRESMAO in the security mechanism of the Gulf of Guinea. Finally, he commended the commitment of the staff members in carrying out effectively the duties assigned to them and called on Member States and the ECOWAS Commission to provide the Centre with the resources required to carry out its duties.

After the speeches, Minister Amadou Kone and President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou then proceeded to the official ribbon-cutting and a tour of the offices and technical premises of the Centre. Before that, the Ivorian interim staff who have ensured the operation of the Centre for 5 years received official plaques in recognition of their services to the Community.

It should be noted that during their visit to Abidjan, the ECOWAS delegation was received in audience by the Ivorian authorities, especially by Prime Minister Patrick Achi, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, African Integration and the Diaspora Kandia Kamissoko Camara, the Minister for Transport Amadou Koné, the Chief of Defence Staff General Lassina Doumbia, and the Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral N'Guessan Kouamé Celestin.

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