The Ghana Navy will soon take delivery of two new ships for the protection of the country's offshore oil and gas infrastructure.
Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul the government is procuring two offshore patrol vessels “with reach and endurance capable of staying at sea for a long time to be able to patrol our exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles and extended continental shelf of 350 nautical miles.”
“We have also signed a contract worth 200 million dollars for the construction of a forward operating base at Ezinlibo and associated patrols boats in the western region to give close protection to out offshore oil and gas infrastructure,” he added during the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and conference in Accra on Wednesday.
“As we all know the sea is the super high way for global trade and Africa's quest for a continental free trade area cannot be successful without a secured maritime domain,” he said, adding “this means, as Africa mobilizes to navigate the future together now through the 2050 Africa integrated maritime strategy, interagency cooperation as well as joint and combined collaboration among land, sea, and air forces in Africa, would be integral to the achievement of this vision.”
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Seth Amoama said piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea continue to pose significant threat to regional and international shipping.
“Incidents of theft, kidnapping for ransom, illegal fishing and drug trafficking are common across our oceans.”
To address these maritime security challenges, the CNS said several collaborative attempts have been made and key among them was what he called “the synergistic approach to dealing with maritime crimes.”
The conference organised by the Ghana Navy in conjunction with Great Minds Events, forms part of the Navy's 60th anniversary celebration and was being attended by over 15 chiefs of navies from Africa and beyond and several other very senior admirals as well as over 300 delegates and exhibitors from 25 countries and 34 organisations.