The fight against piracy and the response to current maritime security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea have been strengthened with the use of the Yaoundé Regional Architecture Information System (YARIS).
The YARIS platform, an information sharing tool or system for maritime law enforcement agencies in the Gulf of Guinea region, was developed in partnership with the Gulf of Guinea Interregional Network (GoGIN) project to assist in the implementation of the Yaoundé Architecture with the support of the European Union (EU).
Yaoundé’s architecture includes the Interregional Coordination Center (CIC), a coordination and information-sharing structure that links the Regional Maritime Security Center for Central Africa (CRESMAC) and the Regional Maritime Security Center for West Africa (CRESMAO).
The coastal space is divided into five operational maritime zones – where activities are coordinated by five maritime multinational coordination centers (MMCC).
The YARIS platform is therefore a tool for sharing information between the 27 maritime centers of Yaoundé Architecture, their partners and all the actors involved within a radius of 6,000 kilometers of coastline.
Operational since September 2020, the platform correctly connects 96% of the member states and centers of Yaoundé Architecture.
Beyond interregional coordination, YARIS is also a tool for connecting national administrations and control agencies.
Mr. Daniel Appianin, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Ghana Maritime Authority, speaking at the closing of the National Training and Implementation of a National YARIS Network in Accra, commended the participants for their commitment and their desire to develop and promote information sharing, leading to a secure Gulf of Guinea and enhancing the legitimate use of Ghana’s maritime domain.
The participants, 29 in number, followed a 15-day training course in the use of YARIS to master and maintain its functionalities, its coordination and its operations in the fight against piracy, illegal fishing, vessels in difficulty and trafficking. various.
The training enabled participants from Ghanaian maritime law enforcement agencies to use the platform to improve surveillance and information sharing capabilities to improve maritime safety and security operations.
After the modular training, the operational centers will be connected to the national YARIS network, allowing them to facilitate the exchange of information and the coordination of operations at sea.
Appianin said the country had experienced unprecedented levels of maritime insecurity activity in the Gulf of Guinea region, including Ghanaian waters, which had resulted in unnecessary loss of life, property and destruction. of the maritime environment.
Designed primarily as a maritime situational awareness tool, he said, the YARIS provided knowledge of what was happening at sea and coordinated operations in crisis situations, integrating electronic messaging and video conference.
He noted that YARIS would therefore enhance collaboration between coastal states to combat piracy and respond to current maritime security challenges faced by members of coastal states in the Gulf of Guinea, including drug and arms trafficking, illegal fishing and environmental damage.
“The system further provides and facilitates the real-time coordination of maritime operations at different levels and offers a wide range of complementary tools, such as the creation of dedicated situations, the opening of logs, discussions, the creation of views and the use of smart layers,” the deputy director said. – General operations explained.
Mr. Pieter Smidt Van Gelder, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ghana, said the coordination of maritime safety and security was essential to monitor and combat any illegal activity at sea.
The European Union, he said, has supported the implementation of the Yaoundé code of conduct signed in 2013 which places information sharing at a strategic level with a network of maritime centres.
“In close relationship with ECOWAS and the Economic Community of Central African States, the EU has financed multiple actions and projects in the field of maritime security, including capacity building and training modules carried out at Accra.
Mr. Gilles Chehab, Component Manager – Capacity Building of the GoGIN Project, told the Ghana News Agency that the YARIS platform is a recognized tool by many national, regional and international agencies and external partners to connect 24 architecture centers in Yaoundé.
Ghana Air Force Pilot Squadron Leader Francis Tetteh expressed optimism that with the knowledge imparted, he would provide participants with the ability to detect and mitigate crimes and threats shipping in the waters of the country and the sub-region.