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  • 2021 July 7 16:40

    International Naval and Air Forces Leaders speaking at the 2nd International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference in Accra 7-8 July

    Piracy, illegal fishing, and armed robberies are some of the major issues threatening the Gulf of Guinea region and are among the topics to be discussed at the 2nd International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (IMDEC), taking place on 7-8 July 2021 in Accra, Ghana. 

    The Ghanaian Navy and Air Force will host over 15 Chiefs of Navies and Air Staff from across Africa along with 300 international senior officials from Navies, Air Force, Coast Guards and Marine Police at the 2nd International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (IMDEC), to discuss and address how to secure the increasingly volatile marine and coastal waters in Africa as well as stabilizing economic advancement and security on the crucial Gulf of Guinea.  

    Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy, presented the Opening keynote speech, titled: Maritime Security and Trade: The Nexus Between a Secured Maritime Domain and a Developed Blue Economy.

    The keynote speech was followed by a panel discussion talking about the innovative plans to curb piracy on the Gulf of Guinea. The panel was moderated by Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo (Rtd), Former Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy. Panelists Rear Admiral Nguessan Kouame, Chief of Naval Staff, Ivory Coast Nacy and Rear Admiral Oumar Wade, Chief of Naval Staff, Senegal Navy discussed identifying the efforts of each nation in eradicating piracy and evolving threats, incorporating the intelligence, expertise and domain awareness of regional forces to better protect both maritime and land, as well as creating an effective road map for the coordination of multi-nation operations to overcome piracy.

    The effects of Covid-19 on the maritime security operations and its implications on maritime trade was an important topic for discussion, led by Phil Heyl, U.S. Coast Guard (ret.(, CEO, The Heyl Group along with panelists Dr. Bashir Jamoh Agency, Director General, NIMASA and Dr Kofi Mbiah, who discussed identifying the immediate requirements presented by Covid-19 for the regional milataries, medical stakeholders, ports and law enforcement and developing the long-and-short-term capacity building iniatives to better control the regional waters.

    Organised by Great Minds Event Management, a global strategic events management organisation that closely works with governments, IMDEC will address key defence and maritime security issues, showcase new technology for the defence sector where multi-million dollars’ worth of deals would be negotiated.

    Khalila Baldwin, Conference Director, Great Minds Event Management, organiser of IMDEC said “We are so pleased at the timing and reception of the 2nd edition of IMDEC, particularly considering the challenges of the past year and a half. IMDEC is providing an essential platform for regional and global stakeholders to solve issues facing the Gulf of Guinea collaboratively, in person. Furthermore, with the addition of Ghana Air Force as an event partner, we have expanded the events content to address critical topics such as maritime-air operations and the role of drones and MPA’s in more depth.”

    The 2nd edition of IMDEC will also welcome greater participation from regional Air Forces, as the Ghana Air Force will be an official event partner to highlight the significance of air-maritime cooperation.

    The second day of IMDEC, July 8 will host another packed agenda of talks and panel discussions including an executive panel discussion titled: Improving Maritime Domain Awareness Capabilities: The role of drones, moderated by Air Vice Marshal IS Kadria (Rtd) and joined by panelists Air Vice Marshal IG Lubo, Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command, Nigeria Air Force, Captain Kenfack Dongmo Emmanuel, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Cameroon Navy and Air Commodore JL Mensah Laka, Air Force Base Commander, Accra, Ghana Air Force.

    IMDEC welcomes key industry sponsors and partners who will be showcasing the latest defence technologies and solutions. Eric Ichikowitz, Senior Vice President, Paramount Group and Platinum sponsor of the event said “We are proud to support our hosts, the Ghanaian Navy and Air Force, by sharing best practice and showcasing innovative, localised solutions to the threats facing Africa’s maritime industry. With nearly 200 incidents of piracy having taken place in 2020 alone, it is now more important than ever that African navies and the maritime industry come together at IMDEC, to engage in the necessary, constructive discourses to reinforce Africa’s primary gateway to the global marketplace.”

    The IMDEC conference and exhibition will also feature exclusive tours of Ghana’s Air and Naval bases and will consist of in-depth walk throughs of the naval dockyard and air base as well as private vessel tours to further display the advanced capabilities of Ghana’s Naval and Air Force fleet.

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