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Regional information sharing centres

December 3, 2014

Two regional centres are being established in order to facilitate cooperation between the West and Central African coastal states.
 

The IMO Secretariat is currently considering ways to ensure the effective coordination of the activities of the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GOG) with those of the Interregional Coordination Centre (ICC). The two centres will complement each other in implementing the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa with the ICC being the strategic level body for regional coordination and the MTISC-GoG being focussed on merchant shipping reporting and information sharing. 

 
Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GOG)
The MTISC-GoG become fully operational in October 2014 with the launch of a new website and guidance on how to report to the centre. Since April 2014, the centre has seen a steady increase in vessels reporting to currently over 500 vessels reporting per month (November 2014).
 
The MTISC-GOG located in the Regional Maritime University in Ghana aims to establish an affordable, sustainable and enduring regional maritime information sharing centre within the Gulf of Guinea that is fully supported by regional states and all maritime stakeholders.
 
Aside from providing operational advice and situational awareness to merchant ships in the region to reduce the risk of unlawful acts against mariners and ships, the MTISC-GOG multi-national watch-keeping team also provides support to masters and companies which suffer armed attacks both during and post incident.
 
The MTISC-GoG constitutes both a vital resource for the shipping industry and a significant regional contribution to the implementation of the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa. The centre thereby also plays a key role in the sustainable development of the maritime sectors in the countries of the Gulf of Guinea.

 

Inter-regional Coordination Centre (ICC)

The IMO Secretariat is assisting ECCAS, ECOWAS and GGC to develop  the Inter-regional Coordination Centre (ICC).  On 5 June 2014, the three organizations signed the Additional Protocol to establish the ICC, which will be based in Yaoundé, Cameroon. More information is available on the ECOWAS website.
 
The ICC will provide a means for establishing cooperation, coordination and communication between Member States of the three organizations at the strategic level, including exchange of information on a range of issues including best practice and cooperation on capacity building as well as contributing to countering piracy, armed robbery and other illicit activities at sea.
 
The ICC was mandated by the Declaration of Heads of State at the meeting held in Yaoundé in June 2013, the meeting that also established the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa.