[Accra, 18 February 2021] The Director General, Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr Thomas Kofi Alonsi, in the presence of a number of dignitaries from the national and international maritime community and industry will open a two-week EU funded capacity building workshop on the Yaounde Architecture information sharing platform (YARIS) at the MMCC Zone F Headquarters, Osu Castle, and Accra on 18 February 2021.
The Yaoundé Architecture (YA), desired by the Heads of State and Government of Central and West Africa, aims to organize maritime security operations in the Gulf of Guinea, thanks to 27 national or multinational centres that must coordinate with each other. This coordination underlies constant information sharing and reliable channels of communication. To meet this goal, a web-based platform has been developed in partnership between the GoGIN project and YA officials, with the European Union support.
This platform, called YARIS (Yaoundé Architecture Regional Information System), is ready for operational deployment in the maritime centres. Ghana is the first country to benefit on tailored-made coaching for exploiting all the potentialities of YARIS.
From 15 to 26 February, the staff of the ECOWAS Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre of zone F (MMCC / F) led by Commander Yussif Benning, will be mentored on YARIS by a pool of mixed trainers (GoGIN and YA centres). The coaching will also focus in the integration of YARIS in the organisation of the daily surveillance and the standard procedures in case of operations at sea. Table-top exercises will be carried out on topics of interest (such as fishing operation).
Commander Yussif Benning, Director of the ECOWAS MMCC Zone F who has already be trained on the platform, has indicated that:
The introduction of the YARIS platform has become a ‘game changer’ in the sharing, coordination and exchange of actionable maritime information between Member States and other stakeholders. Unlike the traditional platforms, the YARIS platform provides a more user friendly, precise and composite (chat, log, dynamic situational sharing and map) applications in one systems making it more effective and efficient in preventing the distortion or downgrading of shared intelligence and information.
In a nutshell the launch of the YARIS will generate collective synergy and mutual trust needed support the interagency and intergovernmental fight against piracy, IUU, armed robbery and other trans-organised maritime crimes.”
The first phase of the training will done for the staff of the MMCC Zone F. This will be followed by the training of personnel of the maritime operations centre in Ghana from 1 -12 March 2021.
Following this comprehensive training program, the teams of the trained centres will be able to use the YARIS platform to ensure, on a daily basis, better maritime surveillance, sharing of operational or institutional information and finally strengthened coordination of joint operations when necessary.
The training programme on YARIS will be progressively deployed in the other Gulf of Guinea countries, either on-site or distantly, depending on the COVID 19 restrictions.