The head of the European Union (EU) in Benin, Francoise Collet, on Thursday launched the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Route project, which has been dubbed CRIMGO.
Speaking at the launch of the project in Cotonou, Collet said the project will help fight against acts of piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea waters.
The European Union Stability Fund will contribute 4.5 million euros to CRIMGO, which is a pilot project initiated in seven African countries including Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Equtorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe.
The three-year program will focus on four aspects of maritime governance, especially maritime training, maritime information sharing, inter-agencies cooperation for maintenance of order and regional operational cooperation.
The head of the EU delegation said the program will also include introduction of training courses on maritime safety and security in Accra and Abidjan universities.
She said the EU and its member states strongly support the regional efforts to solve the problem of piracy and prevent fresh attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Within the European Union, we are in the process of developing a global approach that is aimed at responding to security challenges and other related causes, such as poverty,” she said.
She added that the program will include development of a strategy similar to the Sahel strategy, and it will involve supporting regional organizations like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Community of Gulf of Guinea States.
The Gulf of Guinea extending from Senegal to Angola has seen an upsurge of piracy and armed robbery in the high seas for the last three years.