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Ghana Navy, US Naval Forces Africa, and US Marine Forces Africa strengthen Maritime partnership

In a concerted effort to fortify regional maritime security, the Ghana Navy, United States Naval Forces Africa, and United States Marine Forces Africa convened for a landmark three-day African Maritime Forces Summit and Naval Infantry Leadership Symposium Africa in Accra.

Officially inaugurated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, the summit united top security officials from these institutions to deliberate on strategies for heightened collaboration in addressing maritime security challenges across the African continent.

Themed "Cooperation at Sea: Safeguarding African Maritime Security," the summit, according to President Akufo-Addo, carries paramount importance in bolstering partnerships and consolidating collective capabilities to confront evolving maritime threats.

President Akufo-Addo underscored his government's unwavering commitment to modernizing the Ghana Navy and the Armed Forces, citing the acquisition and commissioning of twenty vessels since his assumption of office in January 2017.

Highlighting ongoing initiatives, he emphasized progress in procuring two Offshore Patrol Vessels and advancing the construction of a state-of-the-art Naval Base in the Western Region. These endeavors, he stressed, are pivotal in ensuring maritime security and nurturing the burgeoning blue economy.

"The commitment of my government to retooling the Ghana Navy and the Ghana Armed Forces, in general, has been amply demonstrated," President Akufo-Addo affirmed. "The process of acquiring two Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Navy is also far advanced. A major project to build a new Naval Base in the Western Region is also in its completion phase."

Acknowledging the shared dedication of fellow African nations towards maritime security, President Akufo-Addo lauded the collaborative efforts with key partners as instrumental in fortifying security within Africa's maritime domain.

The summit's deliberations, marked by robust exchanges and strategic planning sessions, serve as a testament to the collective resolve to safeguard maritime interests and foster regional stability in the face of evolving security dynamics.

About Global Leaders Gather in Ghana for Historic Maritime Summit

In a historic gathering, governmental and military leaders from more than 40 countries spanning four continents have convened in Accra, Ghana, to launch the second annual African Maritime Forces Summit (AMFS) and the third Naval Infantry Leaders Symposium-Africa (NILS-A).

This year marks the first time these two significant events have been merged, offering a unique platform for participants to tackle shared concerns and bolster maritime cooperation and coordination.

Admiral Stuart Munsch, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) and commander of Allied Joint Force Command (IFC) Naples, underscored the importance of these gatherings in comprehending the challenges faced by maritime and naval forces across African shores and beyond.

"AMFS and NILS-A provide invaluable opportunities to address pressing maritime issues and explore African-led solutions," stated Admiral Munsch, emphasizing the commitment to collaborative efforts.

Over the course of the next three days, leaders from Africa and around the world will engage in a series of panels and focused discussions covering a wide array of maritime security challenges and opportunities.

These discussions will delve into topics such as strategies for cooperation, models for combined operations, assessing security interventions, and countering illicit maritime activities, including piracy and illegal fishing.

The inaugural AMFS was hosted by NAVAF in Cabo Verde in March 2023, while this year marks the third iteration of the NILS-A event by U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa (MARFORAF).

The decision to amalgamate these leadership forums underscores the significance placed by the United States, its partners, and allies on unified efforts in addressing maritime challenges transcending borders and continents.

U.S. Maj. Gen. Robert B. Sofge Jr., commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa (MARFOREUR/AF), hailed the conference as a historic opportunity to enhance interoperability, crisis response, and naval capabilities among allied and partner nations.

"This conference serves as a platform to strengthen bonds and pursue common objectives," remarked Maj. Gen. Sofge, highlighting the collaborative spirit driving the discussions.

As the host nation and a steadfast participant in regional exercises and operations, Ghana's Navy plays a pivotal role in fostering maritime collaboration.

Through initiatives such as Obangame Express and Sea Lion, as well as facilitating port visits and conducting bilateral and multilateral patrols in the Gulf of Guinea, the Ghana Navy brings invaluable insights and expertise to the table.

In conclusion, the AMFS and NILS-A represent more than just gatherings; they symbolize a concerted effort by global leaders to address maritime challenges collectively, reaffirming the commitment to safeguarding the world's oceans and promoting regional stability and prosperity.

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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