By Sandra Chukwunyere
The Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum and Shared Awareness and De-confliction conference (GOG-MCF/SHADE) has identified cooperation at sea between regional and international Navies as the focus at its inaugural plenary meeting scheduled to take place in July this year.
This was disclosed in a joint communiqué signed by the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and the Inter Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) Yaoundé, dated June 11, 2021.
The online meeting will be hosted by the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GOGMI) in Accra, Ghana, and will be by invitation of the SHADE Co-chairs, the ICC, and the Nigerian Navy.”
There will be two sessions at the meeting: the morning session, which would formally open the historic plenary and include welcome addresses by regional and international dignitaries; and the second session in which the plenary co-chairs would set the vision and plan for what GOG-MCF/SHADE will seek to accomplish.
The ICC Yaoundé and Nigeria noted that the meeting is to produce meaningful actions and measures that translate to a significant increase in the cooperation at sea between regional and international navies, the international shipping industry, and the maritime stakeholders in the Gulf of Guinea.”
These actions would be delivered by three working groups: Cooperation at Sea (Operations), Reporting and Information Sharing, and Air De-Confliction, with each working group chaired by a regional representative and supported by a Subject Matter Expert.
The maiden GOG-MCF/SHADE plenary will be an invitation-only working meeting initially focusing on implementing the framework by bringing together stakeholders who have committed to tackling piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea.
The co-chairs said they would provide a full report of the activities of the forum on an on-going basis and consequently review and adapt the meeting as required to achieve its intended goals.
Nigeria and the Inter Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) Yaoundé recently floated the GOG-MCF/SHADE following discussions between the Director General of NIMASA, representing Nigeria, and Executive Director of ICC Yaoundé, Admiral Narciso Fastudo Jr.
The forum aims to galvanise regional and international efforts for security in the Gulf of Guinea.