The 3 rd edition of the International Maritime Defence and Exhibition Conference (IMDEC) has ended on Wednesday, August 30.
The two-day conference brought together about 300 delegates from 30 countries across the world to brainstorm on protecting the blue economy.
This year’s conference and exhibition was under the theme; “Consolidating the Gains Made in the Gulf of Guinea: The Role of Stakeholders and Technology in Sustaining a Safe and Secure Maritime Domain.”
Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, Chief of Naval Staff Ghana Navy emphasized that the vast investment in the ocean makes it imperative that efforts are made to protect the resources of the ocean.
He said the blue economy is worth about 2 trillion dollars and in order to derive the maximum benefits it requires a collective working force and collaboration.
“…we are on our way to coming together as a global community to protect the resources of the ocean which is over 2 trillion dollar economy,” he said.
As part of the conference, an agreement was reached to do a combined maritime taskforce and information sharing to do coordinated patrols to ensure that the waters are safe to protect the investment in the oceans.
At the exhibition, cutting-edge technologies were displayed and admiral Yakubu said technologies have been identified to solve teething problems in the maritime space.
He said technologies such as UAVs for surveillance and also technologies to inspect subsea cables connecting the world through seabirds were identified.
“So we have seen technologies here that we can use to inspect these seabirds. Hitherto we use to send physical divers, human beings to dive to go and inspect these cables but now we have what they call the remote operating vehicle that can go under the sea and you can watch it on your laptop or tablet and see everything and even carry out repairs. So we’ve seen cutting-edge technologies during this conference that will help us solve these problems.”
At the opening of the conference President of the Republic H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, launched the National Integrated Maritime Systems (NIMS) to foster collaboration, innovation, and address challenges facing Ghana’s maritime sector.
Launching the conference the president said protecting the marine domain required a joint effort.
He said 84 ship attacks were reported in the Gulf of Guinea in 2020 and 135 seafarers were kidnapped.
He stated “according to the Bureau, kidnapping for ransom increased by roughly 50% along the coast between 2018 and 2019, and about 10% between 2019 and 2020. Around 1,500 cargo ships, tankers, and fishing boats travel through the territorial seas per day on average” adding that the Gulf of Guinea is essential to maintaining global trade."
Represented were Chiefs of Navies from Africa, Heads of Navies, Generals, and Admirals from across the world; Australia, China, USA, Brazil among others.