Five-day maritime training for media, maritime professionals underway


The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, has commenced a five-day Maritime Security Reporting course for media and maritime security professionals in Takoradi, Western Region.

The training is from May 22 to 26, 2023. Topics to be discussed include: introduction to the blue economy and maritime security; policy and legal frameworks on maritime security; media and maritime security; information management in maritime security; and law and ethics in maritime security Reporting. The rest are: coastal communities and maritime security; gender, livelihoods and maritime security; collaboration and cooperation among maritime security stakeholders; as well as scenario-based exercises, case studies and field visits.

The training’s objective is to enhance the knowledge base and skillsets of media and maritime security professionals, so as to effectively contribute in the attainment of maritime security for the Gulf of Guinea.

Also, the course is to introduce participants to the nexus between media reportage and maritime security toward a just reporting regime.

Again, it is to highlight the diverse roles and practices within the maritime domain and explore synergies between the maritime security stakeholder community on one hand and media practitioners on the other, and within the framework of involving populations in maritime security governance at the community and regional level.

Overall, the MSR course is expected to be used for building the capacity of journalists and media liaisons in maritime state agencies – so as to contribute to good understanding of GoG maritime challenges, who will then use their medium to support efforts by state and non-state actors to enhance maritime domain-awareness and also reduce maritime criminality in the GoG through accurate, effective and holistic reportage on maritime security issues in the GoG.

Tom Norring, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, at a brief ceremony explained that since the emergence of maritime criminality in the Gulf of Guinea, various interventions have been adopted by actors to suppress these crimes which include piracy and armed robbery at sea; illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; and trafficking drugs and weapons at sea, among others.

“These interventions have mainly focused on support for legal and policy frameworks, capacity building for maritime law enforcement agencies, as well as support to national inter-agency and international cooperation to detect, investigate and prosecute maritime crimes,” he said.

However, he said, in this chain of interventions the media has been noted to be a crucial stakeholder, given the complexity of maritime crimes and high likelihood of false information in the area which often counters maritime security efforts, the role and capacity of the media in maritime reporting cannot be overlooked.

The training, he said, is to enhance media practitioners’ capacity to raise awareness about maritime crimes and educate the public about the severity and implication of these crimes; provide accurate and timely maritime reporting to help dispel misconceptions; and counter misinformation about maritime crimes and maritime security efforts.

He continued that it is also meant to support the monitoring and evaluation of maritime security efforts by both state and non-state actors at the national and regional levels.

“It is responsible and skilled journalism that can inspire action, shape public opinion and work toward a safer and more secure maritime environment.”

Maj. Gen. Richard Addo Gyane, Commandant at KAIPTC, explained that: “This pilot course is the first capacity building output of the five-year project on Integrated Responses to Threats to Maritime Safety and Security in the Gulf of Guinea Maritime (GoG) Domain in West and Central Africa, which is funded by the Government of Denmark”.

The project’s goal is to create a forum for Gulf of Guinea maritime stakeholders to better comprehend the maritime security landscape, increase collaboration, cooperation and coordination, as well as pool individual and collective resources in efforts to promote maritime security in the GoG.

He noted that challenges facing the region’s maritime domain are diverse and complex – ranging from piracy and armed robbery at sea to illicit oil bunkering; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; trafficking drugs, weapons and humans; smuggling contraband goods and various environmental crimes.

“Notwithstanding, our maritime domain has seen an array of interventions at various levels which seek to address these insecurities with the hope of improving maritime security generally,” he added.

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