The Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Center (KAIPTC) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funding from the Government of Japan, is commencing a new one-year project to develop the technical capacity of maritime crime control officials in Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
The new project titled “Maritime Security Capacity Development for Safety and Security in The Gulf of Guinea”, is to promote effective implementation of relevant regional and international maritime protocols through research and capacity development, in order to control maritime crime including piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
Commenting on the importance of the project, H.E. Mr. Himeno Tsutomu, Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, said: “piracy attacks and other crimes such as robbery and kidnapping in countries along the Gulf of Guinea make the region's maritime route unsafe and this requires technical capacity strengthening of maritime officials to help improve security in the region. The idea and objective of this project fit in well with the New Approach for Peace and Stability in Africa (NAPSA), which was advocated by H.E. Mr. Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, at TICAD 7 in 2019.”
The project will design courses to train about 90 personnel of national and regional maritime agencies including customs, marine and coastguard agencies, police, gendarmerie, national navies and marine observation centers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The courses will integrate regional and international best practices, using legal and policy documents including the African Union's 2013 Yaoundé Code of Conduct, which is seeking to help curb the incidence of maritime crimes in Africa.
“At KAIPTC, it is our hope that the training which is underpinned by research will support efforts at sharing information and building capacity of stakeholders to reduce insecurity within our maritime domain”, stated Major General Francis Ofori, KAIPTC Commandant.
The new project will be complemented with research to assess the nature and extent of maritime criminality in the Gulf of Guinea. It is expected to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 16 on peace and strong institutions through its activity to combat maritime crime. This will also promote SDG 14 that aims to conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development by reducing illegal fishing.
“Maritime security is critical for economic activity and development. The rate of insecurity along the Gulf of Guinea requires urgent actions to combat piracy and other threats. Our continued partnership with KAIPTC and Japan is to improve skills, inter-agency working relations and cooperation among the security forces to fight criminality”, noted Gita Welch, acting Resident Representative of UNDP in Ghana.
Piracy, robbery of ships at sea, oil bunkering, kidnapping for ransom, as well as drug and arms trafficking, are increasingly fueling violent disorder in the Gulf of Guinea. According to the 2019 report of the International Maritime Bureau, the region accounts for 86% of crew taken hostage and nearly 82% of crew kidnappings globally despite drop in overall global numbers.
The maritime security capacity development project will strengthen the expertise of maritime officials and the research findings will inform policy directions on tackling maritime criminality in countries along the Gulf of Guinea.
About NAPSA: Japan's contribution for Africa - Peace and Stability
Japan will support Africa's forward-looking initiatives toward peace and stability which are the preconditions for economic growth and investment as well as betterment of livelihood, through New Approach for Peace and Stability in Africa (NAPSA). Japan will particularly focus on steady and long-term human resource development. https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/africa/ticad/ticad7/pdf/ticad7_torikumi_en.pdf(Please kindly refer to p5)
The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) was established to build upon and share Ghana's internationally acclaimed experience and competence in peace operations with other states in the ECOWAS region and the rest of Africa. The Centre delivers training courses in three thematic areas; Peace Support Operations, Conflict Management and Peace and Security Studies and also offers Master's and PhD programmes in same. The KAIPTC has a world-class research department that undertakes research in the thematic areas in Peace and Security. The Centre has established a Women, Peace and Security Institute (WPSI) that works to build African capacity to fully implement the Maputo Protocol, and support the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 and its resolutions on women, peace and security in the context of Africa. Please visit www.kaiptc.org for more information about KAIPTC; follow us on Facebook and twitter @Kaiptcgh, or Instagram @Kaiptc.
About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. Kindly visit www.gh.undp.org for further information on UNDP Ghana.