Germany has handed over maritime security equipment to the Multi-national Maritime Coordination Centre (MMCC) in Accra, Ghana to assist ECOWAS maritime security measures.
The equipment donated to the Centre is one of the efforts of Germany in consolidating its maritime safety support for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The equipment, worth 1.2 million Euros, consist of 18 items-a Barrett long range telecommunications device including nautical and marine radio facilities, satellite communication radio, computers, monitors and voltage regulators, a Mast as well as minibus and their accessories.
The MMCC will help among others, to promote cooperation among Member States’ Navies and maritime law enforcement agencies and augmenting marine capabilities among naval forces in order to protect their exclusive economic zones (EEZs).
It would bolster the ECOWAS security architecture with enhanced maritime security through joint operations.
At the handing over ceremony, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Gen Francis Behanzin lamented that the maritime domain which is the backbone of West African economies has been severely threatened.
He said it was threatened in recent years by illicit activities such as crude oil theft, hostage taking, smuggling, drug and human trafficking, illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, illegal migration, piracy attacks and dumping of toxic waste.
This, he said has resulted in huge loses of revenues in billions of dollars to coastal countries in the region in addition to hampering the gateway to global markets for exports, imports and other trade facilitation to landlocked economies.
Speaking through the Head, ECOWAS Regional Security Division, Col. Dieng Abdourahmane, the Commissioner noted that the zone F handing over ceremony is a testament of ECOWAS’ progression in the operationalization of all the maritime Centres with the support of its strategic partners.
He commended the government of Ghana for the bold step taken to get the MMCC functioning.
He thanked the German development agency, the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) team for their dedication and continuous support in the setting up of the ECOWAS Maritime Centres.