The origin of YARIS
The YARIS platform was deigned to ensure information’s fusion and sharing as well as coordination of operations between the maritime centres of the Yaoundé Architecture. In 2020 the focus was on project development and testing and training future instructors. This took place in the context of the COVID19 pandemic, which led to delays in rolling out the programme on the ground.
An intensive training programme
Since January 2021, mixed teams of instructors (GoGIN and AY centres) have been working to introduce YARIS to maritime operation centre staff, and support them in integrating the tool into their operational procedures. The training program opened with an introduction to the platform, which was delivered as a distance learning module due to travel restrictions linked to COVID 19.
The first in-person session took place in February 2021 in Ghana with the MMCC Zone F, followed by sessions covering: (1) maritime operations centres (MOC) in Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Sao Tomé & Principe and Senegal; (2) the Zone D MMCC. Other than MOC personnel, this training offered networking opportunities for multiple administrations working towards maritime security in various domains (fisheries, maritime affairs, police, ports, etc.), thereby reinforcing inter-administration coordination and ensuring a greater efficacy of state action at sea. Read more
Alongside mastery of the platform’s functionalities in the context of each centre, the YARIS training programme included training for network administrators in both national and regional centres.
As of 2 July 2021, outcomes are very encouraging: more than 600 users have been connected to the platform in 19 centres. 68% of Yaoundé Architecture centres have now been connected.
Important potential for improving technical capabilities
YARIS demonstrated its capacity to connect maritime vessels, mobiles and centres with minimal bandwidth to its network. During the MEGALOPS exercise, organised by the French Navy and CRESMAC off the coast of Gabon, YARIS was used from the French high seas patrol vessel “Commandant Bouan”. Its integrated package of functionalities (messaging, log, advanced mapping, data import from multiple sources, multi-user management) makes it a unique tool in terms of coordinating maritime operations. Opportunities to enhance the information sources integrated via the platform are currently being explored and are proving to be promising.
A structuring effect
The majority of officials that have been introduced to YARIS have highlighted the potential the system offers to structure information sharing on a national level, which is a fundamental element to feed qualitative information into the regional networks as designed by the Yaoundé Architecture.