Towards improved maritime domain awareness (MDA) in Ghana

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A course on Maritime Domaine Awareness (MDA) was given within the premises of the multinational coordination centre- zone F (MMCC zone F) in Accra from November 16th-30th, 2019.

Led by GoGIN and carried out in close collaboration with the ICC and CRESMAO training Divisions, the training was held for 26 operators and managers coming from F Zone Multinational maritime operation centres (MMCC F Zone, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia). In addition, a few CRESMAO employees (future trainers/ instructors) equally attended the course.

Building on the training sessions on maritime security and safety conducted by GoGIN, this MDA course, first of its kind, was based on a model already implemented by the CRIMARIO project in the Indian Ocean and is part of the employee skills development process of the Yaoundé Architecture maritime centres.

Two experts involved in the training program in the Indian Ocean, were specifically brought in to ensure the success of the program and hold the first course in Gulf of Guinea area.

Through established procedures, MDA allows to collect static and dynamic information on a given maritime area in order to analyse, evaluate, interpret, and determine the parameters and procedures of criminals or offenders undertaking various illegal maritime activities. The ultimate aim is to detect « abnormal » situations. MDA is an essential prerequisite for the definition of efficient action measures to subsequently and sustainably fight against illegal activities.

Through lecture courses and practical exercises, the trainees have learnt to research, identify and analyse any factor likely to affect, impact or benefit the safety, security, economy or environment of the maritime domains of their respective countries. In particular they have learnt to:

  • Extensively use the tools available on electronic mapping for information visualisation;
  • Extract relevant maritime data using e-spreadsheets;
  • Specify the main criminal processes in detail;
  • Identify the ships or illegal activities in a meaningful way;
  • Set up operating action measures.

The most frequent maritime criminal processes encountered within the Gulf of Guinea such as piracy, illicit fishing, polluting or coastal armed robbery, were the main subjects studied during this course.

Finally, beyond the elements stated above, this training session enabled students to exchange about the daily difficulties they face as well as the means, technical measures or procedures implemented to solve them, whenever possible.

Each student received a participation certificate at the end of the training.

Similar courses will be organised during 2020 in the 4 other MMCC of the Yaoundé Architecture. As an integral part of the GoGIN teaching staff, the managers of Yaounde’s Architecture training Divisions will be giving the next courses.

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