United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) says it will commence cross-border transactions with the new Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) in the fourth quarter of 2022. Mr Kayode Olubiyi, Group Head, Digital Banking, UBA, said on Tuesday at a UBA webinar that the reason UBA was selected as the first bank to pilot the payment was because of its Pan-African presence in five of the six-countries selected for the first phase.
The six countries selected for the first phase of documentation and pilots are- Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Gambia.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the webinar discussed “ Facilitating Cross-border Payments with PAPSS’’, a platform that enables traders make real-time transfers of funds from one African country to another.
“UBA is present in five of these locations, this is one of the reasons why we have been selected because of our pan African presence “UBA in collaboration with Afrexim Bank will be among the first commercial banks not just in Nigeria, but across Africa to implement PAPSS system.
“UBA is present in 20 African countries and with this initiative, expanding to more countries.
We will be able to facilitate seamless cross-border transfers across not just the countries where we are, but across all the 54 countries in Africa,’’ he said.
Olubiyi said that the ability to trade between countries directly in Africa and to make cross-border payments would be opened up in these first set of countries and subsequently would be expanded to the other countries across Africa.
He said PAPSS, a centralised payment infrastructure, put together by Afrexim would facilitate and improve intra-African trade and commerce payments as making payments across border could sometimes be a challenge.
He urged SMEs and business start-ups to leverage PAPSS as it would impact infrastructure and provide a good alternative to payments across Africa and reduced cost in terms of sending money from one country to another.
“These are the things that PAPPSS is coming to address and take out of the way.
It will facilitate economic activities among African countries to simple low cost risk control payments, clearing and settlement system,’’ he said.
Monica Oraro , Head, Product and Business Development , PAPSS said that the process for the final integrations was ongoing and the target was to have Nigeria and Ghana running in the fourth quarter of 2022. “We are just in the process of doing the final integrations, I believe UBA will be one of the first bank to start off transactions; but our target is to have Nigeria and Ghana running in Q4. “So between next month and December, and then in Q1, we will be focusing on the other four countries- Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Kenya.
“So, today we are focusing on Africa because of our role in being able to support the coming to light of the African continental free trade agreements; but we also recognise that there is a lot happening between Africa and the rest of the world.
“So in the future, we will look into facilitating payments going maybe out of Africa or coming in, but today, our focus is on all payments that are moving within Africa,’’ she said.
She added that PAPSS was commencing with the banks today and in the future would work with FinTechs so that people could have the ability to not just send money to an account, but also to a mobile number as well.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has distributed over 360 metric tonnes of assorted food items to vulnerable and indigent groups in the nation’s capital.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu inaugurated the distribution of the food items at the FCT Sports Complex, Garki, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Aliyu said that the exercise was part of strategy adopted by the Federal Government to cushion the effect of growing global economic recession, which affected the capacities of average Nigerian to put food on their tables.
According to the minister, the assorted food items distributed include 4,918 50kg bags of Maize, 2,800 50kg bags of Guinea Corn and 2,400 25kg bags of Garri.
Aliyu said that the directive for the release of food items from the National Strategic Reserve for urgent distribution to vulnerable and indigent groups in the society.
She said the move underscores the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to promote social equity and improve the lot of all Nigerians.
She, however, assured that all the grains would be judiciously distributed among the vulnerable groups in the six area councils of the FCT at no cost.
She reassured residents of the commitment of the FCT Administration towards repositioning the agricultural sector.
Aliyu said that the administration would continue to give impetus to various agricultural support programmes.
“We are equally very hopeful that the FCT Livestock Development Plan, which is being put in place, will help to revitalise the sector towards improving food and nutrition security.
“And enhance revenue inflow for all stakeholders in livestock sub-sector and boost the economy of Nigeria,” she added.
Earlier, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, said that the Federal Government was aware that the indigent groups and the middle class constitute a significant percentage of the population.
“They are amongst the category of persons that have been adversely affected by the harsh global economic recession, and conflicts as well as climate change”.
Olusade revealed that a report obtained from the World Food Programme (WFP) showed that over 828 million people go to bed hungry every night.
He said that the number of affected with acute food insecurity had soared from 135 million to 345 million since 2019, while a total of 50 million people in 45 countries are teetering on the edge of famine.
He, therefore, commended the Federal Government for having the wellbeing of Nigerians at heart by directing the emergency release of assorted food items from the national strategic reserve for distribution to vulnerable groups in the society.
Also, Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, the Mandate Secretary FCTA Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat said the secretariat collaborates with the Area Council Authority.
He said the secretariat also collaborates with the 17 chiefdoms to identify families and groups that would be given priority in the distribution of the items.
According to him, this is to ensure that the programme achieved the desired objectives.
“We have equally made adequate arrangements to move the items closer to the reach of targeted beneficiaries in the various area councils.
The Federal Government has urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to support the National Security Sector Reform processes within the region.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, made the call at a 4-day ECOWAS Security Sector Reform and Governance (SSRG) Training Workshop on Monday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop was co-founded by the European Union and German Cooperation.
Dada disclosed that the Nigerian Government was committed to engaging the General Assembly on the critical aspect of the United Nations roles in supporting the SSRG.
He said that SSRG was to enable ECOWAS fulfil its role of assisting member states to establish early warning mechanisms and rapid response to threats to regional peace and security.
Dada noted that Nigeria was equally in support of the ECOWAS commission in achieving a stronger SSRG within member states.
“Nigeria restates its commitment to having a strong ECOWAS community and strongly recommends that the commission explores every opportunity at its disposal towards supporting national security sector reform processes within the ECOWAS community.
” Just as Nigeria is committed to engaging the General Assembly on the critical aspects of the UN roles in supporting the SSRG, Nigeria is equally in support of the ECOWAS Commission in achieving a stronger SSRG within the ECOWAS Member States.
” No doubt, insecurity is a major regional challenge, threatening the entire economy of the West African sub-region, impeding the maximisation of West Africa’s strategic littoral economic potentials, and causing instability in the Gulf of Guinea.
” The heinous activities of various non-State Actors around the sub-region, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea are indeed causing political upheavals and menace to our community.
” Dada stressed the need for ECOWAS to share the reports on security sector reform, titled “Securing States and societies: Strengthening Security Sector Reform,” issued by the former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon in August 2013. ” I recommend therefore, that this ECOWAS shares from the above-mentioned report to build a formidable security sector reform that will promote a common vision and shared understanding of SSRG among national security stakeholders.
” Including political decision makers, legislators, oversight bodies, senior security practitioners and civil societies.
” It is pertinent to note that an exchange of experiences is a vital aspect of security sector reform in addition to the usual technical and financial assistance,” he said.
Earlier, Alexandre Gomes, First Counselor, Deputy Head of European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said the training was very timely, given the difficulties the sub-region faces.
Gomes added that the workshop was a contribution towards maintaining peace and security in the sub-region.
” The ECOWAS Policy Framework for SSRG’s was officially launched in Abuja in November 2021. It is now for member states to start implementation.
” It contributes to the democratisation process in ECOWAS member states by encouraging security institutions to comply with democratic governance principles: accountability, transparency, and the rule of law.
” We strongly encourage its incorporation into national law in member states.
We hope that the next four days will help devise ways to adapting the regional SSRG policy framework to Nigeria.
” Also, Dr Uju Agomoh, the Executive Director, African Security Sector Network, said” if security sector reforms literacy and practical initiatives can be moved into the lives of people and within the continent, then, we are heading for good times.
” Conflict doesn’t help anyone but we believe we need to look within us, build synergy with already existing mechanism of various governments, we need to also ensure that there is sustainability in terms of what makes a difference.
Ghana president’s office said on Monday declared the end of a Marburg virus outbreak, a highly infectious disease similar to Ebola, that was confirmed in July. Ghana’s Marburg outbreak was the second in West Africa.
The first ever case of the virus was detected in 2021 in Guinea, with no further cases identified.
“The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has officially declared Ghana free from the Marburg virus disease outbreak that was confirmed nearly two months ago,” the presidency tweeted on Monday.
Two people who died in Ghana tested positive for Marburg at the start of July, after which the West African country’s government confirmed its first outbreak of the disease on July 17. Two more cases were confirmed around 10 days later, one of which died at the start of August, bringing the total number of fatalities to three.
There have been a dozen major Marburg outbreaks since 1967, mostly in southern and eastern Africa.
Fatality rates have varied from 24 per cent to 88 per cent in past outbreaks depending on the virus strain and case management, according to the World Health Organization.
On Thursday, September 15, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Rabat, Morocco, between ECOWAS, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco.
The three parties were represented respectively by Mr. Sediko Douka, ECOWAS Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalization Commissioner, Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Executive Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and Ms. Amina Benkhadra, Managing Director of the Office National des Hydrocarbons.
et des Mines (ONHYM).
According to a published joint statement, the Memorandum of Understanding attests to the commitment of ECOWAS and all the countries crossed by the pipeline, to contribute to the technical and feasibility studies, the mobilization of resources and the execution of this key project.
This project, once completed, will supply gas to all West African countries and open a new export channel to Europe.
It is a strategic project that will contribute to improving the standard of living of the population, integrating the economies of the region, reducing the level of desertification thanks to a sustainable and reliable gas supply and the reduction or total elimination of gas flaring, among others.
Sixteen countries including fourteen ECOWAS Member States are involved in this project.
The project will also help other countries to export their surplus natural gas: Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Mauritania.
The Nigeria-Morocco strategic gas pipeline project will traverse the west coast of Africa from Nigeria to Morocco, through Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania.
In the long term, it will be connected to the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline and to the European gas network.
It will also help serve the landlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
Commissioner Sediko Douka, speaking on behalf of the Chairman of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, stated that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held the view that the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline project it was really workable and therefore he would spare no effort.
for its success: We, as a regional economic community, are convinced that it is a viable project, that promises a lot, and we will spare no effort for its success».
The Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitization of ECOWAS also reaffirmed, on behalf of the president of the ECOWAS Commission, the full support for this regional project that would positively impact the lives of more than 400 million people.
“The impact of the project is far-reaching because it would help secure electricity supply in the West African region and, in the long term, the export of natural gas for fuel in Europe.
We have carefully monitored the feasibility studies at various validation levels from start to finish, he revealed, adding that the next phase would involve detailed execution design, resource mobilization and actual construction.
With the launch of the project, it will seek to attract public and private investors, including multilateral or commercial banks, pension funds, insurance companies, among others.
The project will cover 6,000 km and will cost US$25 billion.
The financing of the project is expected to involve various stakeholders.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was attended by government officials from the Kingdom of Morocco, Ms. Nadia Fettah Alaoui, Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Mohcine Jazouli, Minister of State for Evaluation of Public Policies, Convergence and Investments.
Finally, a courtesy call was made to HE Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad.
Why we spend so much to conduct elections — INEC INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu Elections By Adeyemi Adeleye Lagos, Sept. 16, 2023 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday gave an insight into why much funds went into the conduct of elections.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman, gave the insight while responding to questions at an interactive session with the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) tagged ‘The Editors’ Forum’ in Lagos.
According to him, cost of logistics, highly-secured ballot papers, allowances for personnel, among other reasons, are responsible for the huge funds used in conducting elections in Nigeria.
“In France, the ballot paper is like an A4 sheet of paper, because it is unthinkable that anybody in France will snatch the ballot paper.
“But here in Nigeria, we print ballots papers in currency quality and we entrust them to Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The ballot papers will now be move with all the protocols and security according to the movement of the national currency, just to protect the process.
“This is not going to be done cheaply.
So, we pay for lack of trust in the system,” the INEC boss said.
Yakubu, however, said that Nigeria’s elections were not the most expensive, if the entire cost was spread per head of the voting population, projected to be about 95 million.
He said that the last elections conducted in Ghana, Kenya and Guinea-Bissau were more expensive, if the voters’ population was considered per capita in relation to the cost.
“The cost in Nigeria, I think, is nine dollars per head (N4, 500) as against what happens in other countries.
Ours is not even the most expensive.
“The cost of elections in Nigeria in 2023 is N305 billion of the national budget of over N17 trillion.
“The cost of elections is just 1.8 per cent, not even up to two per cent of the national budget.
“If we remove the technology cost, 60 per cent of the cost of elections in Nigeria is spent on logistics and personnel allowances,” he said.
According to him, the commission will engage no fewer than 1.4 million Nigerians for national and state elections as ad hoc staff who will have to be paid and transported to their various locations.
“I am sure as we continue to build trust and confidence in the process, the cost of elections will come down considerably,” Yakubu said.
On electronic voting, Yakubu said that the country was getting closer to achieving it, noting that it involved several processes.
On vote buying, the INEC boss said that fighting the menace required the involvement of all stakeholders.
He said that the commission had taken some steps to stem the tide and make it difficult.
Yakubu reiterated that the commission was committed to electoral justice, reassuring Nigerians that rigging had been made difficult and impossible ahead of the 2023 elections.
Yakubu said that the commission had started cleaning up of voters register, noting that credible elections start with a credible register of voters.
The INEC chairman said that the commission was committed to improving on its delivery of elections.
He, however, pointed out that the quality of elections is a direct reflection of the quality of the environment.
“An election cannot be better than the environment in which it is conducted, which include the security situation, social, economic, political culture, national infrastructure among others.
“It is simply amazing the way INEC officials get to some villages to conduct elections.
Our elections cannot be better than the quality of our infrastructure,” he said.
Yakubu said that there were about 161 days to the 2023 general elections, adding that Nigeria could make it work because the commission was committed to electoral justice.
“We have introduced reforms that we believe have taken us out of Egypt and we will never go back,” he said.
While stressing that INEC does not support media censorship, Yakubu called for balanced reporting.
He said that the antidote to fake news was “greater openness and transparency”, which INEC was committed to.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr Mustapha Isah, the President of NGE, said that Nigerian journalists should be genuinely interested in deepening the democratic space.
Isah said that they played a key role in the fight for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria.
He said that it had become imperative for editors to thoroughly interrogate players in the democratic landscape.
He listed some of these as political actors, candidates vying for elective positions, the electoral umpire, the security agencies, and all other groups involved in monitoring elections.
“This forum is designed to provide the actors an opportunity to address editors about their preparations for the 2023 general elections.
“Editors will also use this forum to seek clarifications on different issues and ask critical questions on matters relating to the elections.
“This is in line with our resolve to bring the right information to the electorate ahead of the elections,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forum had editors from various media organisations in attendance.
Ghana today declared the end of the Marburg virus disease outbreak that was confirmed almost two months ago.
It was the first time the highly infectious hemorrhagic fever had been detected in the West African country.
Ghana's Ministry of Health made the statement after no new cases were reported in the past 42 days, or two incubation periods, the time between infection and the onset of symptoms.
In total, three confirmed cases, including two deaths, were reported in the outbreak declared on July 7, 2022 after laboratory confirmation of the virus that affected the Ashanti, Savannah and Western regions of the country.
A total of 198 contacts were identified, monitored and completed their initial recommended observation period of 21 days, which was later extended for a further 21 days out of an abundance of caution by Ghanaian health authorities.
Health authorities, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health partners, rapidly implemented outbreak control measures, intensified disease surveillance, testing, contact tracing, clinical care, in addition to raise public awareness and work with communities to support disease prevention efforts.
Marburg is a highly infectious disease in the same family as Ebola and has a high mortality rate of between 24% and 88%.
“Marburg is a scary disease as it is highly infectious and deadly.
There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments.
Any outbreak from Marburg is a huge concern,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
“Despite having no prior experience with the disease, Ghana's response has been swift and robust.
Lives have been saved and people's health protected thanks to an effective disease detection system that helped to quickly identify the virus and enabled a rapid response to stop the spread of infection."
The Marburg outbreak in Ghana was the second of its kind in West Africa.
Guinea reported a single case in an outbreak that was declared over in September 2021.
In Africa, previous outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda.
Genomic sequence analyzes of Marburg virus by the Institut Pasteur in Senegal and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Ghana suggest that this latest outbreak is related to the case reported in Guinea in 2021.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the origin of the virus.
outbreak, which may be due to a shared animal reservoir or population movements between the two countries.
WHO is supporting health authorities in carrying out ecological studies to increase understanding of the disease and help anticipate and prevent future outbreaks.
A resurgence of Marburg may occur and WHO is working with Ghanaian health authorities to maintain surveillance and improve detection and response to a possible outbreak of the virus.
Marburg is transmitted to people by fruit bats and spreads between humans through direct contact with bodily fluids from infected people, surfaces, and materials.
The illness begins abruptly, with a high fever, severe headache, and general malaise.
Many patients develop severe bleeding signs within seven days.
Smart Africa's skills development arm, Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA) (https://SADA.atingi.org/) continues to expand its presence in Africa, with Côte d'Ivoire the latest country to benefit from skills development digital.
Launched in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the initiative will help nurture the country's nascent digital sector through the provision of digital skills.
Speaking of the launch, Mr. Lacina Koné, Director General and CEO of Smart Africa, praised the political will of African governments to transform the digital landscape on the continent and emphasized the support of Smart Africa.
“There is a growing recognition, among nations, of the role of digital technologies in transforming the socio-economic situation and the determination to adopt them is palpable.
Through initiatives such as SADA, the Smart Africa Alliance is committed to supporting national efforts to close the digital skills gap.
We are pleased to bring SADA to life in Côte d'Ivoire, an important country of the alliance”.
Representing the German government, a key donor to the SADA initiative, Mr. Marton Köver, Chargé d'Affaires of the German Embassy in Côte d'Ivoire, stressed that “a fair and equitable legal framework is key to ensuring that as many Africans as a possible benefit of digital transformation”, a step that Côte d'Ivoire has now taken with SADA.
In addition to SADA, the Agile Regulation Program for Digital Transformation (AReg4DT) was also launched in collaboration with the World Bank and GIZ.
The World Bank Country Director for Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Guinea and Togo, Ms. Coralie Gevers, also stated that “capacity building and knowledge sharing among African countries is essential to support the implementation of the Africa Digital Transformation Strategy 2020-2030 and Côte d"Ivoire has an important role to play by sharing peer-to-peer knowledge and showcasing the benefits of applying agile regulatory principles for vibrant, inclusive, sustainable and secure digital markets, as demonstrated by the recent adoption of its National Digital Development Strategy 2025".
The launch of SADA in Côte d'Ivoire heralds the implementation of several capacity building programs in Big Data and IoT, teacher training, executive training, advanced ICT training, among others.
In addition, Côte d'Ivoire is set to host the first Cybersecurity Innovation Centers for young people.
Currently, Côte d'Ivoire leads Smart Africa's cybersecurity flagship.
In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Smart Africa Alliance and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Communication of Côte d'Ivoire, part of which is the provision, by SADA, of specific capacity building interventions related to the country's priorities.
in the ICT sector Speaking about the launch of SADA, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy of Côte d'Ivoire, Mr. Amadou Coulibaly, emphasized that “SADA-Côte d'Ivoire will be one of the key vehicles for the launch progress of the "awareness and training" projects of the 4th pillar of the National Digital Strategy to 2025, which has the specific objective of developing and promoting digital skills.
As a pan-African dynamic learning ecosystem, SADA aims to improve digital skills qualifications, employability and meet the emerging talent needs of African citizens.
The national digital academy will support priority digital skills needs uniquely identified nationally.
Additionally, these national digital academies will soon be implemented in Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
SADA is also embarking on a program to provide African youth and entrepreneurs with digital skills to thrive in the global tech ecosystem.
This will help increase digital technology competence, reduce unemployment and increase digital entrepreneurial skills for young people in Africa.
This program aims to impact 500 young people by the end of the year.
Since its start of operations in August 2020, focusing on the Capacity Building for Decision Makers (CBDM) module, SADA has trained more than 2,000 decision and policy makers in 26 countries on digital transformation topics including cases of use of artificial intelligence, 5G connectivity, Data Protection and Privacy, Rural Broadband Policies, Security Technologies, Innovative and Regulatory Sandboxing Environments, Data Centers and Cloud, Digital Identity for the Unattended, Electronic Payment, etc.
The goal is to reach more than 22,000 beneficiaries trained by 2023, supported by the SADA wave of implementation.
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo on Friday described the nation’s Inland Waterways as cash cows long overdue for harnessing.
Sambo said this at the inauguration of the Technical Working Group (TWG) Proposal for Channel Management between Escravos, Onitsha and Baro Port on the Niger River on Public Private Partnership (PPP) Arrangement in Abuja.
According to him, Nigeria’s waterways abound with economic potential capable of boosting the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
“Providence has challenged me to put into reality what I went to China to pursue as an employee of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
”I went to China in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In my own case, I was marketing the waterfront lands owned by NIWA and we zeroed on the Marina NIWA Area Office with proposal to reclaim that land to build a container terminal and a passenger terminal for people passing through Apapa.
”The idea is that when containers come into Lagos, you don’t have to discharge those meant for Onitsha in Lagos.
”But transport them in barges or vessels that can transverse low draughts to Onitsha port to be picked by vehicles for distribution in the hinterlands.
“The primary objective is to invest, maintain and operate a high grade Inland Waterways channel between Baro River Port point to Onitsha River Port to the Warri Port at the Niger River and onward connection to the Gulf of Guinea.
”This is to ensure a sustainable maritime transportation route and lay a solid foundation for navigation network that will connect the Lagos ports, Lekki Deep Seaport with the Onitsha and Baro River Port. ”For transportation of containerised and non-containerised cargoes for shipping efficiency in Nigeria,” Sambo said.
The minister observed that the value of such activities would lead to the decongestion of Lagos Ports, prolong the life span of the roads, reduce pollution, and create a new mode of transportation by water.
He said this would in turn not only engage civilians but security forces as the cargoes had to be escorted.
Sambo said the terms of Reference of the TWG was to carry out legal, Financial and Technical Due Diligence on Messrs DIDs Ltd. home and abroad.
”Documentation of every single data and raw materials collected from survey and the operational processes for the purpose of security and future use for the development of a robust Project Structuring Report (PRS).
”It will also x-ray policies applicable for the purpose of putting the Inland waterways channel for economic use.
”Negotiate what is accruable to at every operations and any other responsibility as may be directed by the honourable minister.
”The 18-man TWG has technocrats from National Inland Waterways, Nigeria Ports Authority, the Navy among others, with the Permanent Secretary, Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani, as the Chairman.
”The Managing Director, NIWA, Dr George Moghalu, will stand as alternate Chairman, the Deputy General Manager, Business Development, NIWA, Mr Hassan Kaka as Secretary,” he added.
The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) concluded a workshop on Maritime Insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.
The theme of the workshop was "Strengthening the adjudicative and enforcement jurisdiction of states in the fight against maritime crimes in the GoG by adhering to the relevant instruments of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the African Union (AU)".
The workshop brought together experts, academics, and government representatives from several countries in the subregion, as well as from the United Nations system.
The objective of the workshop was to raise awareness among ECOWAS members about the importance of ratifying the relevant maritime security instruments, and their incorporation into national legislation to empower the judicial authority in the fight against maritime insecurity.
Addressing maritime insecurity requires a holistic approach, combining kinetic and non-kinetic elements.
In addition to deploying operational forces, state judicial authorities must be empowered to better prosecute perpetrators and curb impunity.
In their opening remarks, the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamat Saleh ANNADIF, emphasized the importance of sharing information among relevant actors to ensure vigilance against piracy incidents.
and armed robbery.
ANNADIF also referred to the role of UNOWAS, together with UNOCA, in carrying out advocacy work and good offices missions with regional partners, namely ECOWAS, ECCAS and the Gulf of Guinea Commission.
Through several sessions, the participants discussed a series of issues and topics related to maritime insecurity in the GoG, and relevant ways to strengthen the implementation and adherence of ECOWAS member states to the legal framework.
The workshop concluded with a series of recommendations: Strengthen the capacity of African states to incorporate relevant legal instruments, such as the 2005 SUA Convention and the Lomé Charter.
States are encouraged to address discrepancies in the 2013 Yaoundé Code of Conduct as a matter of urgency.
States are encouraged to address other types of maritime crime, in particular drug trafficking and unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
that continue to threaten peace, security and development in the subregion.
UNOWAS will continue to participate in the G7++ FoGG forum together with UNOCA, UNODC, ECOWAS, ECAAS and GGC to assess the implementation of the Yaoundé Architecture.