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Staffing meeting on the ECOWAS maritime coordination centres

Abidjan, 7th September, 2018. Staffing Meeting on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Maritime Security Centre (CRESMAO) and the Multinational Maritime Coordination Centres (MMCCs) was held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire from 05-07 September 2018 to select appropriate staff in line with the provisions of the adopted ECOWAS Integrated Maritime Strategy (EIMS) by the Authority of the Heads of States and Government in March 2014.

The adopted Strategy provides for the creation of a Maritime Cell at the ECOWAS Commission Level under the Regional Security Division for political guidance and administrative management purpose, CRESMAO located in Abidjan and MMCCs comprising Pilot Zone E (Benin, Niger, Nigeria and Togo) in Cotonou, Zone F (Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) in Accra and G (Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali and Senegal) in Praia.

The opening ceremony was attended by important personalities including the Representative of the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, the Director General, African Integration, Professor Ouattara WAUTABOUNA, the Chief of Ivorian Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Djanakaridja KONATE, the ECOWAS Resident Representative, Ambassador Babacar Carlos MBAYE, the ECWAS Director of Peacekeeping and Regional Security (DPKRS), Dr.Cyriaque Agnekethom, Head of Regional Security Division, Dr. Abdourahmane DIENG, ECOWAS Staff, representative of the European Union (EU) in addition to Experts from Member States (Ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Transport).

The Ivorian Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Djanakaridja KONATE welcomed participants to the meeting on behalf of the Minister of Defence, Honourable Hamed BAKAYOKO and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Cote d’Ivoire, General Sekou TOURE. He outlined the recorded achievements in the Implementation of the adopted EIMS and the readiness of the Government of Cote d’Ivoire to support the process.

The Representative of the Government, Professor Wautabouna Ouattara, welcomed experts and expressed the importance attached by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire to maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and reiterated its support to support the operationalization of CRESMAO.

He declared the meeting open and wished participants fruitful deliberations. In his opening remarks, ECOWAS Resident Representative, Ambassador Babacar Mbaye, on behalf of the Commissioner Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), Gen. Francis A. BEHANZIN mentioned the need for the meeting to effect the Implementation of the provisions of EIMS Architecture and expressed ECOWAS appreciation to German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), European Union (EU), Danish Government and other Strategic and Technical partners for the support. Presentations by ECOWAS Commission and ECOWS Maritime Centres highlighted achievements and challenges.

The closing ceremony by the Chair, Ambassador Musa Nuhu, Director and Head of the ECOWAS National Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, read the Meeting Communique and adopted the report. He thank the Government and People of Cote d’Ivoire for warm welcome and traditional hospitality, experts for efficiency in pledging of Staff for the Centres and urged ECOWAS Commission to facilitate the outstanding process.

The representative of the Honourable Minister of Transport, Cote d’Ivoire Lieutenant Colonel GOBA ZOUZOUA thanked ECOWAS Commission, experts, partners and expressed the commitment of the Government to support and sustain the process and declared the meeting closed. Grant Agreement on the ECOWAS Support to Centres was also signed by the Directors of CRESMAO and Acting Director Zone E.

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