[São Tomé, 16 September 2022], Captain Armindo Pinho da Fonseca e Silva Rodrigues, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Santomean Army, chaired the closing ceremony of the YARIS (Yaoundé Architecture Regional Information System) user training programme, in the presence of the Coast Guard Commander, senior officials of the national administrations and the instructor pool of the European GoGIN project. He congratulated the thirty-two participants from the maritime administrations, who successfully completed this practical training in São Tomé.
The protection and securing of the maritime domain are essential to the economic and social life of the São Tomé and Príncipe archipelago. A structured organisation is being established around the Coast Guard and its operational centre, to ensure permanent surveillance and coordination of operations in response to threats (notably piracy, illegal fishing, pollution, various trafficking). To this end, the Coast Guard works closely with the other maritime administrations/agencies: IMAP, Judiciary Police, National Police, Emigration Services, Customs, Port Authority and Harbour Master’s Office, and Fisheries Directorate.
These administrations are now connected within a national YARIS network, allowing them to use a single secure tool to prepare and conduct maritime safety and security operations, ranging from routine to crisis situations.
From September 5th to 16th, thirty-two participants from different maritime administrations learned to know and use YARIS, guided by a joint team of instructors from GoGIN and CRESMAC. In addition to mastering the main functionalities, participants were involved in exercises of various scenarios including Search and Rescue operations, coordination, and operations for combating illegal fishing and piracy.
Lt. Vitalina Lopes Vaz Vera Cruz, Coast Guard Detachment Commander, commented:
“YARIS has become one of the additional tools for my daily routine, it allows me in any crisis situation to be able to know how I should act, providing an overview of the knowledge of the maritime situation to different levels of operation. Unlike the other tools available in the Coastal Guard, it allows me to have a clearer, more detailed, and safer vision to share and exchange information with different national agencies. A unique opportunity for teamwork and I assure you that I am able to use this tool to approach any situation of maritime crisis.”
After this modular training, the operational centres will be connected to the national YARIS network, enabling them to facilitate the exchange of information and the coordination of operations at sea. We are confident that the participants will put the knowledge acquired to good use for the benefit of São Tomé e Principe’s maritime safety and security.