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4 Things the Ghanaian Navy are Doing to Combat Piracy in 2022

Ghana is situated in the Gulf of Guinea, which is designated as a high-risk area for maritime personnel, meaning that it has a problem with piracy. The Ghanaian Navy has taken steps to help combat this threat which seems to be paying off. This report will cover what those steps are and what the current situation is in 2022.

In the first quarter of 2022, one ship boarded off the coast of Ghana, with another attempted attack also reported. It should be noted that other attacks may have taken place as some go unreported. So what has Ghana done to help contribute to this reduction in piracy?

Pirates off the coast of Ghana have resorted to kidnappings on any vessel, resulting in attacks on fishers.

The main framework that Ghana has employed to help combat piracy is investment and deployment of its Navy in addition to international cooperation, with some allies being influential and some not. Unlike Nigeria, where pirate attacks still mainly centre around the oil industry, pirates off the coast of Ghana have resorted to kidnappings on any vessel, resulting in attacks on fishers.

1. Deploying Navy Personnel

Ghana has responded by deploying navy personnel on fishing vessels, with details of them fighting off pirates being reported at the end of 2021. These deployments continue today.

2. Investment in New Vessels

Investment has also been seen in purchasing different patrol vessels to help on the high seas and closer to shore. The Navy has also indicated it is working on purchasing high endurance vessels to maintain a constant presence at sea. However, it is unclear if these will take the form of other patrol boats or warship-type vessels such as corvettes.

3. Vessel Traffic Monitoring

The government has improved support mechanisms such as the Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information System (VTMIS) to help with surveillance.

4. Desire for Co-operations with Neighbouring Countries

Ghana has also sought closer ties with the Nigerian government and other partners to fight piracy. The Ghanaian Navy and Ghana Maritime Authority are working with their Nigerian counterparts to improve air and naval coverage of the Gulf of Guinea. Whilst this relationship appears to be fruitful against piracy, Rear Admiral Yakubu of the Ghanaian Navy has commented that some West African countries are unresponsive or uninterested when information is shared in maritime security. International cooperation with the British, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, and others has also proven fruitful in helping police the high seas, which Rear Admiral Yakubu previously identified as an area that needed more of a presence to fight piracy.

Ghana will continue to fight piracy and other problems such as illegal mining and Boko Haram. Efforts implemented so far appear to be working, and with the commissioning of four new ships in February 2022 with more on the way, this trend will continue. What may dampen efforts is the cooperation of regional allies that Ghana has criticised for their lack of action in fighting piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

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