Piracy, illegal fishing, and armed robberies are some of the major issues threatening the Gulf of Guinea region are among the topics to be discussed at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (IMDEC), taking place on 24-25 July 2019 in Accra, Ghana.
These threats not only disrupt regional stability but also hinder economic development. Therefore, it is essential that international and intergovernmental players continue to build upon joint capabilities to alter this progression.
Khalila Baldwin, IMDEC’s Conference Director
The Ghanaian Navy will host over 10 Chiefs of Navies from across Africa along with 250 international senior officials from Navies, Coast Guards and Marine Police at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (IMDEC), to discuss and address how to secure the increasingly volatile marine and coastal waters in Africa as well as stabilizing economic advancement and security on the crucial Gulf of Guinea. IMDEC’s ribbon cutting ceremony will be attended by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
Hon. Dominic Aduna Bingab Nitiwul, Minister of Defence, Ghana, Lt. Gen. Obed Akwa, Chief of Defence Staff, Ghana Armed Forces, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy, Air Vice Marshal F Hanson, Chief of Air Staff, followed by a VIP exhibition tour and a an awards of appreciation will be presented to VIP attendees.
Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy, will present the Opening keynote speech, titled: Ghana Navy - past, present and the future. Followed by a panel discussion titled: Maritime Forces: Joint Operations and strengthening interoperability. The discussion will be moderated by Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo, former Chief of the Naval Staff, Ghana.
The panelists Captain Pedro Santana, Commander of the Coast Guard, Cape Verde Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff, Nigeria Navy Captain René Nganongo, Chief of Naval Staff, Congo Brazzaville Navy, and Rear Admiral Momar Diagne, Chief of Naval Staff, Senegal Navy, will discuss: Integrating transnational operations for enhanced maritime security, revising existing concepts for joint operations to better handle the evolving maritime security challenges of the region, in addition to ways of Incorporating the intelligence, expertise and domain awareness of regional forces to best protect the greater maritime and coastal environment, and the means of creating an effective road map for the coordination of multi- nation operations to overcome regional security issues.
Khalila Baldwin, IMDEC’s Conference Director said: “Our vision is for IMDEC to become the premier gathering of maritime leaders within the Gulf of Guinea. In keeping with this year’s theme, empowering collaboration to enhance maritime security, we are happy to host maritime agencies from across Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America as well as the globes leading solution providers to collectively improve maritime security.”
“Further, it is our distinct pleasure to host this event alongside the Ghana Navy during their 60th Anniversary celebrations”Baldwin added.
Commander Oded Breier, Vice President Marketing, Israel Shipyards Ltd will present a speech about current threats and solutions for the maritime and coastal defence. While Admiral James Foggo, Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, and U.S. Naval Forces Africa, will discuss International Collaboration Insights. Followed by a session titled: CNS Insights: Highlighting achievements and capabilities of Nigeria’s naval programs as well as their projections for advancing information sharing and overcoming criminality at sea, by Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff, Nigeria Navy.
The next Executive Panel Discussion is titled: Counter piracy operations within the Gulf of Guinea, and dedicated to discussing; using a cooperative approach to better understand the methods for dealing with piracy threats offensively and proactively, in addition to methods of developing the long- and short-term capacity building initiatives to better control regional waters, and lastly, the importance of identifying the immediate requirements of the regional navies, coast guards and law enforcement in securing the seas.
The Panel Discussion will be moderated by Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali, Executive Director, Centre for Maritime Law and Security Africa. And he will be discussing the mentioned topics with panelists: Captain Kenfack Dongmo Emmanuel, Commander Surface Forces, Cameroon Navy Vice-Admiral Manuel Ferreira de Jesus, Chief, Navy Operations Directorate, Angola Navy, Gambia Navy, and Captain Philip J. Juana, Deputy Commander, Sierra Leone, Vice Admiral Jorge Novo Palma, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Portuguese Navy.
Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo, Former Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy will moderate the following panel discussion about curbing illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, and how to effectively sanctioning dedicated entities, such as Fisheries Enforcement Unit in Ghana, with the right resources to monitor and police IUU, focusing on Identifying the programs necessary to support local fisheries while blocking foreign vessels from industrial trawling, and strengthening inter-ministerial efforts in combatting IUU
Joining Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo in this discussion panelists: Victor Hamusa Kargbo, Acting Assistant Director of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Sierra Leone, and Commander EA Kwafo, National Coordinator Fisheries Enforcement Unit, Ghana.
Next, Rear Admiral Momar Diagne, Chief of Naval Staff, Senegal Navy will be uncovering the methods used by the Senegal’s maritime forces to monitor and patrol territorial waters as well as defining their commitment to ongoing counter-piracy operations within the GoG.
And Rear Admiral Koi Alexis Maomou, Chief of Staff, Guinea Navy, will demonstrate Guineas efforts to protect the nations offshore oil and gas assets as well as to cooperative anti-piracy operations within the region.
The first day of IMDEC will conclude by a case study titled: Satellite Connectivity for Naval Networks – by Siddharth Dubey, Defense & Intelligence Systems Division, Hughes Network Systems. Followed by Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo, Former Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy Closing Remarks, and a cocktail reception.
The second day of IMDEC, July 25th will start with a panel discussion titled: Interagency approaches to secure critical infrastructure, with the purpose of discussing Coordination between navies, coastal guards, law enforcement and the oil sector, and the importance of increasing the monitoring of critical infrastructure and national resources through collaboration of oil and gas companies, emergency responders and law enforcement bodies.
Implementing targeted task forces such as operation Ex Toru-Gbown in Nigeria to jointly and forcefully interdict crude oil theft, and combining resources (such as vessels, fast interceptor crafts and trained local personnel) to better combat militants, are among the topics to be highlighted in this discussion.
Moderated by Rear Admiral Geoffrey Mawuli Biekro, Former Chief of Naval Staff Ghana Navy, and joining him Panelists: Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff, Nigeria Vice Admiral Jean-Louis Lozier, Commander, Chief for Atlantic Ocean, French Navy Captain Pedro Santana, Commander of the Coast Guard, Cape Verde and, Rear Admiral Nguessan Kouame, Chief Of Naval Staff Ivory Coast Navy.
The next topic on IMDEC’s agenda is: Governance and regulatory aspects to secure territorial waters, to be discussed at the Executive Panel Discussion: Integrated maritime strategies. Moderated by Captain Loulla Mabicka Sosthene, Director, CRESMAC. Chief of Naval Staff Gabon Navy.
Panelists Rear Admiral Narciso Fastudo Jr Deputy Executive Director Interregional Coordination Center, Kathleen Quartey Ayensu, Commissioner , International Law African Union and Senior Captain Boniface Konah, Acting Director, CRESMAO will discuss the African Union- and the best strategies to protect and conserve Africa’s “Blue Economy”, in addition to ECOWAS and ECCAS in order to draw a framework for regional collaboration against maritime crimes, and lastly a glance on the ICC- 2019 update on the regional strategy on safety and security with the regions maritime space.
Following the executive panel discussion, Captain Kossi Mayo, Chief of Staff, Togo Navy, will share his insights on Togo navy’s efforts to enhance international collaboration in order to improve regional maritime security and partnerships.
Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency will present a keynote speech on Collective maritime administration and partnership, explaining the increasing regulations and management related to shipping, maritime labor and coastal waters of a nation and the importance of strengthening maritime administrations across Africa within cooperative frameworks, in addition to benchmarking existing partnerships between maritime forces and administration bodies to outline the necessity of collaboration.
Captain Loulla Mabicka Sosthene, Chief of Naval Staff, Gabon Navy will share insights on establishing maritime operations centres (MOC) to aid efficient, economical, and cooperative maritime security strategies. In addition to more insights from; Rear Admiral Nguessan Kouame, Chief Of Naval Staff, Ivory Coast Navy, and, Rear Admiral Silvio Vratogna, Italian Navy. Followed by the closing remarks by Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, Chief of Defense Staff, Ghana Armed Forces.