The ECOWAS Multinational Maritime Coordinaition Centre Zone F yesterday celebrated the 10th anniversary of Yaoundé code of conduct at the Holiday Inn -Accra. The event which was supported by United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct was held under the theme “Impact of Yaoundé Process on ECOWAS Maritime Domain:10 Years After the Adoption of Yaoundé Code of Conduct,” brought together key stakeholders, experts, and authorities in the maritime sector.
The program commenced with a warm welcome address by Captain (Cote D’Ivoire Navy) Noel Oboumou, the Director of MMCC who explained that the anniversary is a regional initiative to combat
Participant of the conference in a group photograph
Maritime crime and promote security in West and central Africa and also form part of the Yaoundé Architecture which he said is a complex network of coordination and cooperation mechanism that emerge from the Yaoundé summit of 2013.
The program, which commenced with a warm welcome address by Captain (Cote D’Ivoire Navy) Noel Oboumou, the Director of MMCC, was graced by distinguished guests of honor, Dr. Abdel Fatau, the Program Officer in charge of Maritime Governance, and Dr. Zanetor Rawlings MP for Klottey Korle constituency.
Captain Oboumou highlighted the crucial role played by MMCC Zone F in ensuring effective maritime domain awareness and coordination across the Zone. The Centre, operationalized in 2018, has become a formidable institution within the Yaoundé Architecture, collaborating with stakeholders across the six member states to enhance law enforcement for the safety of mariners, vessels, and the marine environment.
The Director expressed gratitude to Ghana, the host nation, for its unwavering support in establishing and operationalizing the Centre. He recognized the contributions of key individuals, including former Chiefs of the Naval Staff Admiral Geoffrey Mawuli Biekro and Admiral Kofi Peter Faidoo, and former Director General of GMA Mr. Kwame Owusu. The ongoing support from current leaders such as Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, and Director General of GMA Mr. Thomas Kofi Alonsi was also acknowledged.
While acknowledging the success of MMCC Zone F, Captain Oboumou highlighted the existing challenges that the Centre faces. He underscored the importance of continued support from stakeholders across the Zone and international partners in overcoming these challenges and delivering on the Centre’s mandate.
The Provost of the Regional Maritime University (RMU) Dr. Denis Njumo Atehnjia emphasized the importance of the maritime sector’s collaborative efforts, he addressed the challenges and called for unity to enhance the fortunes of the region.
In his presentation, the provost underscored the Yaoundé Code of Conduct as a pivotal catalyst for a thriving blue economy, shedding light on its crucial role in poverty prevention and alleviation. He emphasized the need for collective action in translating innovative ideas into actionable strategies within the sector, acknowledging the challenges faced in this endeavor.
Provost presentation on YCoC as a catalyst of a thriving economy
“Working in silos is not the solution; collaboration is the key to unlocking the full potential of the maritime sector,” Dr. Njumo Atehnjia professed, highlighting the necessity for stakeholders to unite. He urged participants to avoid isolation and embrace cooperative efforts to overcome challenges and make the sector more vibrant and economically lucrative.
Drawing attention to the critical role of the blue economy in the region’s economic development, he stressed that while there are numerous promising ideas within the sector, bringing them to fruition remains a challenge. He also shared insights into collaborations RMU has entered into, expressing optimism that such partnerships would contribute to changing the narrative and making the maritime sector more robust.
Hon. Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings Receiving a plaque from Provost
He also called for collaboration throughout the conference, resonating with participants from diverse backgrounds, including maritime authorities, security agencies, and government representatives.
Several presentations during the conference delved into crucial topics, including an assessment of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct, the impact of the code on fishing activities, prospects, and challenges. The Ghana Navy contributed valuable insights through presentations on topics such as “Beyond Piracy and IUU: Assessing the Impact of YCOC on Other Crimes in the Gulf of Guinea.”
Provost with students from RMU
As the conference concluded, participants left with a renewed commitment to the shared goals of maritime security, cooperation, and economic prosperity within the ECOWAS region. The Yaoundé Code of Conduct continues to stand as a cornerstone in fostering stability and sustainable development in West Africa’s maritime domain.
Source: Marketing Unit
Accra- 18th November,2023