A six-week Concentrated Maritime Affairs and Security Course for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has ended at the Regional Maritime University (RMU) in Accra on Friday.
The course which was the second batch of training and sponsored by the European Union (EU) through its Support to West Africa Integrated Maritime Security (SWAIMS) programme had 18 participants from the Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and host country Ghana.
The training was to enhance knowledge and foster collaboration between countries to combat maritime crimes within the sub-region.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Project Coordinator, Mr Augustus Addy-Lamptey said the intensive training was not only to build the competencies, to facilitate the effectiveness of the participants in their various organisations, but also to make them multipliers and sustain the impact even after the EU/SWAIMS project has ended.
With the knowledge acquired, he implored participants to do well and train others, collaborate with other countries to completely combat maritime insecurity.
“We need to ensure that maritime crime is reduced and subsequently eradicated through the efforts of everyone within the sub-region,” he stressed.
According to him, it was important to increase collaboration, cooperation and coordination among Gulf of Guinea states, build capacity of maritime professionals and ensure maritime crime became a thing of the past.
Mr Addy-Lamptey said the RMU and other partners were committed to initiatives and collaborations that would help fight maritime crime in the sub-region.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Ndidi Gladys Ezinwa-Ukoha, a Barrister, said the training course had provided them with the knowledge to understand the need for collaboration among actors, significance of communication and appreciation of the complexes in cooperation and information sharing.
“It has also helped us the participants to recognise the ways of mitigating the complexes at operational level, identify the sources of funding for maritime security and internal means of sustainable funding,” she stated.
She added that, the course had also equipped them with the view to have security plans and checks while on board the vessel.
“It has also helped participants to understand the personal survival techniques in the case of crisis before the arrival of rescue teams,” she stressed.
She urged fellow participants to utilise the knowledge acquired to transform the various sectors of the maritime industry.
Participants were presented with certificates after the course.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE