Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo, Eric Ichikowitz
Paramount Group, Africa’s largest defence and aerospace giant has commended the Ghana Navy highly for exhibiting professionalism over the years in spite of logistical constraints.
“The Ghana Navy is an incredibly professional and capable and has a long history of successful operations. Our role in this environment is to help the government to capacitate the navy with modern vessels and technology to enable them perform their functions more effectively and more successfully,” Eric Ichikowitz, Vice President of the group said in Accra yesterday.
Paramount Group is currently playing a key role in the Coastal and Maritime Surveillance Africa Conference and Defence Exhibition (CAMSA 2017) in Accra with the Ghana Navy as the organizers and other security agencies in attendance.
They are seeking to explore ways to tackle the rising incidence of piracy, armed robberies at sea, oil theft and other criminal activities in the maritime environment in the West Africa sub-region and hope to come out with strategies towards increasing maritime security in the region.
Mr. Ichikowitz said industries have a role to play in assisting government to find solutions to problems faced in the maritime sector.
“The challenges that our navies are facing today are far more complex and far more involved than ever before and I suppose the political and naval environment have to come together to fund the development of maritime industry and make the navies more resourceful to effectively do their job.”
He said that “Paramount Group has a long history of working in the maritime zones of Ghana and other countries in the sub-region. We have many vessels plying the region and we have a clear understanding of the conditions the navies are working in the region.”
James Fisher, Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Maritime, the Maritime Division of Paramount Group, said: “We believe the defence and commercial maritime sector has an obligation to support governments in the region by developing sustainable industrial partnerships that deliver mission appropriate, affordable and sustainable defence solutions built for Africa by Africans.”
He said “Given that such partnerships involve the end user during design and production, the technologies can be effectively localised to ensure it meets operational requirements. Appropriate technology should be the buzzword, especially in Africa where each nation faces uniquely challenging threats and environments. With focused design, governments enhance their defence capability and avoid the problem of procuring imported equipment that was never designed to be suited exactly for local conditions and requirements. Appropriate technology and mindset are the key factors in reducing defence spending.”
By William Yaw Owusu