31 Countries attend naval training in Accra

The annual multinational maritime exercise in Western and Central Africa, Exercise Obangame Express 2023, is expected to close in Accra tomorrow.
The exercise commenced on January 23, 2023, in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Exercise Obangame Express is a maritime training programme sponsored by US Africa Command (AFRICOM).

It is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information sharing practices, and tactical interdiction expertise to enhance the collective capabilities of Gulf of Guinea and West African nations to counter sea-based illicit activity.

It is being held in collaboration with the United States Naval Forces, Africa (NAVAF), and would involve the Ghana Navy, West and Central African navies and maritime stakeholders in partnership with Euro-Atlantic navies and maritime stakeholders from 31 countries.

A press statement signed and issued by the Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces, Naval Captain Michael Addo Larbi, said the exercise was focused on increasing regional cooperation and maritime safety and security.

The 31 countries participating in the exercise include Angola, Belgium, Brazil, Cape Verde, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, The Gambia, Ghana, Germany, Sierra Leone, Spain and Togo, and will also feature regional blocs ECOWAS of West Africa and ECCAS of Central Africa.


The statement explained that under the support of NAVAF, the training was designed to build the capacity of the navies in the gulf region while maintaining a safe and secure maritime environment for socio-economic development encompassing stakeholders in the country’s maritime partners and cooperation at sea.

It noted that the exercise would equally focus on the practical implementation of inter-agency procedures towards managing maritime security threats and incidents, and information sharing between maritime stakeholders.

All workout, it said, would be conducted at the Exercise Control Group centre in Lagos, Nigeria.

“Numerous maritime operation centres are also participating ashore from across the Gulf of Guinea and West Africa with several international organisations,” it stated.


The statement explained that a command post exercise of support operations-centric, functionally-focused training exercise was held between January 23 to 27, 2023, at the Naval Headquarters, Naval Training Command, Western and Eastern Naval Commands and the country’s territorial waters.

The exercise scenarios, it said, included anti-piracy, armed smuggling, oil spillage management, anti-narcotics, anti-human trafficking and illegal unreported and unregulated fishing.

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