Press Release-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 at the Yaounde Architecture information sharing platform 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 2021, 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 been 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 to support the interagency and intergovernmental fight against piracy, IUU, armed robbery and other trans-organised maritime crimes.”Commander Yusif Benning (2021)
The first phase of the training will be 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 real 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.
More on GoGIN and YARIS
The EU-project GoGIN (Gulf of Guinea Inter-Regional Network) aims to improve maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea in order to foster blue economy and the economic development of the countries. The project provides technical support to the national and regional structures established under the Yaounde Code of Conduct, in accordance with their established rules and responsibilities. The project has initiated the development of the YARIS platform, together with representatives of the Yaounde Architecture, to enhance the information sharing within the network of 27 maritime centres.
GoGIN, launched in 2016 ending in August 2021 is implemented by Expertise France with a €9.2 M budget funded by the European Union and the Kingdom of Denmark. GoGIN is part of the Critical Maritime Routes Programme, an initiative launched and funded by the European Union.
More on the ECOWAS MMCC Zone F
The MMCC Zone F is the operational and coordination headquarters for Zone F countries; Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Burkina Faso. Established in March 2018, it liaises with the national maritime operations centres of the maritime Zone F and the headquarters is located in the famous Osu Castle, Accra.
MMCC Zone F
Christianborg Castle Osu
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