At the seminar on maritime security that opened in Abuja last Monday, April 4, 2022, the European Union announced a donation of security equipment to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The donation of 30 rigid-hull inflatable boats and forensic equipment will be used in the fight against maritime crime and other security issues in West Africa.
Maritime insecurity has long been one of the most persistent and intractable threats to maritime communities and economic prosperity in West Africa. To combat this phenomenon, the EU has donated 30 boats and forensic equipment to ECOWAS. This grant is part of the project to support integrated maritime security in West Africa (SWAIMS), a multi-component regional initiative implemented in the 15 ECOWAS countries. The equipment, estimated at €5 million, is expected to help ECOWAS coastal States in combating maritime crime. The beneficiary countries are Benin, Nigeria, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo. According to the head of the ECOWAS Regional Security Division, Colonel Abdourahmane Dieng, quoted by ‘‘Ships and Ports’’, “West African countries need a coordinated response to combat the scourge of attacks, piracy and armed robbery against ships.” “To this end, we have developed an integrated ECOWAS maritime strategy around five pillars to ensure security in the fifteen Member States within the ECOWAS maritime domain, strengthen our capacity in terms of managing our maritime environment, and develop our capacity and our culture in terms of in terms of the Blue Economy and maritime issues respectively,” he said. By providing semi-rigids, the initiative aims to strengthen Member States’ capacities and enable them to combat illegal fishing through a certain degree of conditional freedom in the maritime field.
Adapted and Translated from French into English by:
CEO at LMS (www.lmsgroupafrica.com)
American Translators Association (ATA) Associate Member