Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, Chief of Naval Staff, says the Navy has identified technologies to solve the country’s maritime challenges.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEC 2023) in Accra, he said the Navy would employ technologies on exhibit to help address the country’s maritime concerns.
The Conference brought together the African maritime industry and Chiefs of Naval Staff to examine the continent’s maritime security challenges. The event featured innovative technologies and solutions for Africa’s blue economy.
The biennial event featured a conference where regional Naval Forces and other key players discussed growing maritime threats to Africa’s territorial waters and blue economy.
IMDEC 2023 featured innovative maritime security technologies as well as strong resolutions and recommendations to address the continent’s maritime concerns.
Rear Adm. Yakubu stated that the Ghana Navy was in talks with providers of technological solutions such as Aerial Unmanned Vehicles (UAVs) that may be used to address what he called Ghana’s “teething” maritime difficulties.
“We had a demonstration at Nicolson Park as to how we can use the UAVs to do surveillance and that is one area that has come up strongly,” he said.
According to the Navy Chief, the Conference led to the building of networks and partnerships that would promote collaborations, intelligence gathering, and information exchange between Ghana and its coastal neighbours in dealing with common marine crimes and terrorism.
“We have also agreed, particularly, in the Gulf of Guinea to do the combined maritime task force and information sharing where we can do coordinated patrols to ensure that our waters are safe in order to protect the huge investments in the ocean,” he added.
Mr. Kofi Amankwah-Manu, Deputy Defence Minister, indicated that the technology on exhibit at the event, the solutions reached, and the “symbolic” launching of Ghana’s National Integrated Maritime Strategy would impact the maritime sector.
It would also ensure a safe maritime domain not only for Ghana but also its neighbours within the Gulf of Guinea region.
The Deputy Minister expressed hope that the Conference’s outcome would accelerate the processes toward achieving the objectives of the Yaoundé Architecture for Maritime Security and Safety.
The Yaoundé Architecture comprises the coordination and information-sharing structure that connects the Regional Maritime Security Centre for Central Africa and the Regional Maritime Security Centre for West Africa.
The closing session of IMDEC served as a setting for a panel discussion on cybersecurity threats plaguing Africa’s maritime space, with the recommendation that the issue could be addressed by coordinated efforts amongst the countries concerned.
Major-General Francis Adu-Amanfo (Rtd), the presidential advisor on the Accra Initiative, gave a presentation on the threats of terrorism and their connection to maritime security.
The Accra Initiative aims to prevent a spillover of terrorism from the Sahel and to address transnational organized crime and violent extremism on Ghana’s and its Neighbour’s borders.
Other knowledge-sharing presentations on experiences in dealing with maritime criminal activities in the South Atlantic Ocean were shared by a representative from the Brazilian Navy, Rear Admiral Pedro Augusto Bettencourt Heine Filho.