A recent visit to Cabo Verde November 30 to December 6 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) provided an opportunity to meet various government agencies involved with maritime security and discuss the country’s future role in regional maritime security activities.
Cabo Verde announced its intention to host the MultiNational Centre of Coordination (for Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal) under the proposed operational framework to support the wider region’s maritime security Code of Conduct, which was signed by governments, including Cabo Verde, in 2013, to enhance cooperation to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea and other illicit maritime activity.
The framework plans for five Multinational Centres of Coordination which will each report to one of the two regional centres (one for west and one for central Africa
), which will in turn report to the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre that was established in 2014 in Yaoundé, Cameroon
IMO’s Gisela Vieira held meetings with a number of Cabo Verde government agencies, including the Maritime Authority, Agencia Maritima Portuaria (AMP), which hosted the visit; the Coast Guard, Fisheries, Borders Police and Ministry of Justice.
Site visits included the new Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Maritime Control Centre, located in Praia, which is due to be inaugurated in March 2017 and the VTS centre in Mindelo.
Ms. Vieira also visited the COSMAR (Centro de Operacoes de Seguranca Maritima - Center for Maritime Security Operations), which was formed in 2010 as an interagency centre for maritime security operations, allowing authorities in Cabo Verde to enhance coordination among the various entities involved in the maritime domain.
COSMAR is able to gather information related to illicit acts committed on Cape Verde jurisdictional
waters, with radar and satellite images, and transfer relevant data to other national agencies.
IMO was also represented at the second annual meeting of the G7 Friends of the Gulf of Guinea Group (G7++FOGG), which met in Praia, Cabo Verde on December 2.