Africa’s largest privately owned defence and aerospace business, Paramount Group has called for African solution for maritime insecurity across West Africa countries.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Paramount Naval System, James Fisher, through regional in-country integration and strong Africa shipbuilding industry, West Africa can address the safety of its shores and support economy growth. He however singled out Ghana as the leading way to bolster its naval capabilities to benefit the West Africa countries.
The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) say piracy, including illegal fishing, off the West African coastline has amplified, costing the shipping and offshore industry more than $1 billion per year. This has led to an immediate need for African navies to join forces and restructure their strategies to include modernization and development of multi-purpose vessels for high risk zones.
Speaking at the inaugural Maritime and Surveillance Conference in Accra, Mr. Fisher however said “bearing in mind that 90% of trade in Africa is seaborne; the most imminent threat comes from the sea in the form of piracy. As a result, we need to establish closer regional cooperation including sharing of intelligence and streamlining operations”.
He added that, “Whiles mush emphasis is placed on the necessity to protect shores, there is also a need to ensure the navy is adequately equipped at carry out other key roles including surveillance and patrol, disaster and humanitarian relief operation, monitoring of fishing activities and assisting civil authorities such as the Ghana police and port and habour authority effort. Here, collaboration within each country and its various departments is essential”
Following Paramount Group’s recent acquisition of Nautic Africa and its recent launch of Paramount Nava Systems, the business is set to double its workforce by 2015 and deliver the ultimate vessel in the most cost effective manner.
This according James Fisher can serve as a the driver long term economic development, boosting industry, creating thousands of jobs and bring million dollars of foreign investment which will assist West Africa fast track its effort to meet the millennium development goal.