Gulf of Guinea: France brings its expertise in the fight against port crime

Abidjan is hosting a seminar on “Combating port crime” in the Gulf of Guinea, hosted by African and French experts, with their auditors at the General Directorate of the Port of Abidjan, from Monday, September 25th  to Thursday 28th .

French cooperation is helping the 25 Gulf of Guinea ports facing maritime crime, according to Colonel Blédé of the Ivorian Dgamp, “35 illegal fishing vessels arrested” since 2014. And from 25 to 28 September, it delivers its expertise on the occasion of a seminar focused on the fight against port crime in the Gulf of Guinea, led by African and French experts, gathered with their auditors in the general directory of the port of Abidjan, in the Ivorian capital .

Central Concern

“Due to the strategic importance of ports, the issue of port crime has become a central concern of the economic partners and its eradication is a major challenge for our States” insisted the permanent secretary of the interministerial committee of Action of the State in the Sea, Abdoulaye Fofana.

Acts of brigandage and attacks against commercial ships, stowaways, transit of narcotic substances “often from Latin America” ​​according to Fofana, make ports in the Gulf of Guinea platforms “always vulnerable to administrative, documentary and commercial frauds” .

Training as a solution

Olivier Mornet, Regional Coordinator of the Program of Support to the Action of the State in the Sea in the Gulf of Guinea, specifies the objectives of this seminar organized by the Institute for Interregional Maritime Safety (ISMI), considering that “these trainings, practical and pragmatic ‘address people in the workplace. Today, through port crime, a new training page is being opened for ISMI, with nationals from different countries, with different administrations. We are interested in everything that affects the port economy through all kinds of trafficking, drugs, transit of protected species, illegal immigration … We will discuss with the participants the techniques of searches of ships, targeting of containers, with a fundamental element, the sharing of information between the various administrations involved in the security of a port and monitoring the comings and goings of ships and goods”.

Confronting knowledge

For Franck Désiré, the special commissioner of the port of Brazzaville, all the interest of this seminar rests in the trainings that are delivered. “A way for me to strengthen my capacities and transmit, on my return, to my colleagues what I have learned”. For his Beninese counterpart, Lt Constant Hon, “this is a general problem common to all the ports and this seminar will allow us to settle our difficulties and to re – adapt the system so as to ensure efficiently the safety and security on the” harbor esplanade. ”


By Issiaka N’Guessan in Abidjan
Photo caption: French cooperation has been working on the Gulf of Guinea since 2014. Photo : National Marine of France / DR.