The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) at the weekend ended the 15th Maritime Security and Transnational Organized Crime (MSTOC) Course with a call on participants to apply the knowledge gained to their work.
The two-week course had 33 participants from various security services as well as civilians from both state and non-state actors in the maritime sector from 13 Gulf of Guinea countries.
Air Commodore George Arko-Dadzie, the Deputy Commandant of the KAIPTC, said in a closing remark that application of the acquired knowledge, and making the same available to their colleagues would contribute to the aim of the course, which was to strengthen professional networks among regional, sub-regional, and national maritime security forces as well as civilian personnel.
Air Commodore Arko-Dadzie said the course created the opportunity for participants to exchange knowledge, views, experiences, and expertise among themselves and the facilitators, adding that he has the strongest conviction that they found the course applicable to the present situation of the subregion.
He indicated that participants had appraised themselves on emerging maritime security and transnational organized crimes and strengthened existing collaborations, coordination, cooperation, and information sharing among them to safeguard the maritime industry.
'Obviously your knowledge has been enhanced and you are abreast with the ECOWAS Maritime Security Architecture for maritime crime and the current regime pertaining to maritime security; the way forward is to strengthen the networks created, consult with each other, and share the knowledge, and complement each other's efforts in the future,' he added.
The KAIPTC Deputy Commandant expressed appreciation to the German Government for its support in terms of the development, retooling, and financing of the course to achieve its intended aim.
Mrs Laudia Anyorkor Sawer, an Editor at the Ghana News Agency, giving the valedictorian speech, commended the KAIPTC and the German Government for giving them the opportunity to participate in the course, which was an eye-opener on maritime security and transnational organized crimes in the Gulf of Guinea.
Mrs Sawer said the lectures, group discussions, presentations, and field trips were well structured to give participants the right education on MSTOC, adding that they received education on technical terminologies used in the sector, the relevance of the maritime zones, and the difference between armed robbery at sea and piracy.
'The course has set the stage for us to be conscious of the socio-economic importance of the Gulf of Guinea and the maritime space in general, the threats within the space, the geopolitics and interests within the industry, and the need for intra-state and interstate efforts to ensure safety and security within the space,' she added.
She added that it was enlightening to note that transnational organized crimes at sea were the creation of human insecurity situations on land; therefore, when such insecurity issues receive attention, the maritime environment will be more secure.
'The relationship between unfulfilled wants, the opportunity for crime, and the benefits of crime to perpetuate crime across borders is a wakeup call to all of us in the fight against transnational organized crime,' she stated.
As part of the course, participants toured the Tema Port and went on a short sea trip on board the Ghana Navy Ship (GNS Chemle).
Participants also paid a visit to the Vessel Traffic Management Information System (VTMIS) located at the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), which is used to electronically survey and monitor Ghana's coastline, including the Exclusive Economic Zone, and the ECOWAS Multinational Coordination Centre (EMCC) Zone F at the Christiansburg Castle, Osu.
Source: Ghana News Agency