Ghana has pledged its resolve to enhancing maritime security in partnership with countries bounded by the Gulf of Guinea.
According to the Deputy Minister of Defence, Major Derek Oduro, the plethora of illegal activities in the sea was one that could not be addressed by a single nation, hence it “necessitates cooperation and collaboration if we are to succeed in our efforts within our shared boundaries and beyond”.
He made the remark at the G7 Friends of the Gulf of Guinea Group (G7++FOGG) co-hosted by Ghana and France in Accra yesterday.
The meeting, which brought together top-notch experts in the global maritime space, had the theme: “Working together for the common security in the Gulf of Guinea.”
It sought to deepen opportunities in working together among member states to improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Major Oduro, who enumerated the huge potential of the Gulf of Guinea including its major role in energy supply and hydrocarbon reserves, conduit for trade, employment and food supply, said it was saddened that countries could not fully tap into the resources for economic growth.
“The area is exposed to multiplicity of threats such as piracy, robbery, illegal bunkering, terrorist activities and other organised crimes such as gun-running, smuggling, human and drug trafficking, illegal exploitation of maritime resources and the destruction of the maritime environment through pollution.
“The end result of such nefarious activities, the Deputy Minister noted, was on the ordinary consumer “which is why all efforts must be made to address these challenges.
“The government sees the G7 Friends of the Gulf of Guinea initiative as a step in the right direction, and will do its best to support this bold initiative,” he stated.
The Commandant of the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Major General Francis Ofori, said the meeting was timely to accelerate efforts at achieving the objectives of the G7++.
“Today, piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea continue to pose significant threat to regional and international shipping, with significant number of incidents occurring in territorial and international waters across the entire Ghana maritime domain.”
Major General Ofori, thus, urged participants to commit to resolutions made at the conference to attain a free and fair marine sector for their common good.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH