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African Alumni of U.S. Naval War College Collaborate on Regional Maritime Security Issues
Maritime safety and security along the coast of Africa was the focus of a three-day military symposium, April 12-14, 2011, that brought together approximately 50 African leaders from 13 different nations. <br /> <br />The symposium, held at the
STUTTGART, Germany - Captain Aliou Moussa Sow, Senegalese secretary general of HASSMAR (the High Authority on Maritime Safety and Security), speaks to U.S. Africa Command staff on challenges faced by the Senegalese Navy, April 11, 2011. Also speaking on the panel were Ghanaian Navy Commodore Godson Zowonoo, commander of Western Naval Command (left), and Gabonese Navy Rear Admiral Herve Nambo, chief of Naval Staff (right).  The event was organized by U.S. AFRICOM's Outreach directorate as a kickoff for the command's U.S. Naval War College African Alumni Symposium, attended by nearly 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner)
5 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 5: STUTTGART, Germany - Captain Aliou Moussa Sow, Senegalese secretary general of HASSMAR (the High Authority on Maritime Safety and Security), speaks to U.S. Africa Command staff on challenges faced by the Senegalese Navy, April 11, 2011. Also speaking on the panel were Ghanaian Navy Commodore Godson Zowonoo, commander of Western Naval Command (left), and Gabonese Navy Rear Admiral Herve Nambo, chief of Naval Staff (right). The event was organized by U.S. AFRICOM's Outreach directorate as a kickoff for the command's U.S. Naval War College African Alumni Symposium, attended by nearly 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner) Download full-resolution version
STUTTGART, Germany - Participants of the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium listen to a panel discussion on "African Perspectives on Maritime Security" in Stuttgart, Germany, April 12, 2011. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the three-day symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner)
5 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 5: STUTTGART, Germany - Participants of the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium listen to a panel discussion on "African Perspectives on Maritime Security" in Stuttgart, Germany, April 12, 2011. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the three-day symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner) Download full-resolution version
STUTTGART, Germany - General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, answers questions from participants of the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium in Stuttgart, Germany, April 14, 2011. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the three-day symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner)
5 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 5: STUTTGART, Germany - General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, answers questions from participants of the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium in Stuttgart, Germany, April 14, 2011. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the three-day symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner) Download full-resolution version
STUTTGART, Germany - Vice Admiral Joe Leidig, U.S. Africa Command&#39;s deputy to the commander for military operations(left), speaks as part of a panel at the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium, April 12, 2011.  Other panel members pictured (from left to right): Gabonese Rear Admiral Herve Nambo, chief of Naval Staff; Ghanaian Commodore  Godson Kwabla Zowonoo, commander of Western Naval Command; Nigerian Commodore Akinsola Johnson; and Phillip J. Heyl, chief of U.S. AFRICOM&#39;s Air and Maritime Security Branch. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner)
5 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 4 of 5: STUTTGART, Germany - Vice Admiral Joe Leidig, U.S. Africa Command's deputy to the commander for military operations(left), speaks as part of a panel at the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium, April 12, 2011. Other panel members pictured (from left to right): Gabonese Rear Admiral Herve Nambo, chief of Naval Staff; Ghanaian Commodore Godson Kwabla Zowonoo, commander of Western Naval Command; Nigerian Commodore Akinsola Johnson; and Phillip J. Heyl, chief of U.S. AFRICOM's Air and Maritime Security Branch. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner) Download full-resolution version
STUTTGART, Germany - Participants of the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium gather for a group photo with General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command (center), in Stuttgart, Germany, April 14, 2011. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the three-day symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner)
5 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 5 of 5: STUTTGART, Germany - Participants of the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium gather for a group photo with General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command (center), in Stuttgart, Germany, April 14, 2011. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the three-day symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner) Download full-resolution version
STUTTGART, Germany - Captain Aliou Moussa Sow, Senegalese secretary general of HASSMAR (the High Authority on Maritime Safety and Security), speaks to U.S. Africa Command staff on challenges faced by the Senegalese Navy, April 11, 2011. Also speaking on the panel were Ghanaian Navy Commodore Godson Zowonoo, commander of Western Naval Command (left), and Gabonese Navy Rear Admiral Herve Nambo, chief of Naval Staff (right).  The event was organized by U.S. AFRICOM's Outreach directorate as a kickoff for the command's U.S. Naval War College African Alumni Symposium, attended by nearly 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner)
STUTTGART, Germany - Participants of the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium listen to a panel discussion on "African Perspectives on Maritime Security" in Stuttgart, Germany, April 12, 2011. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the three-day symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner)
STUTTGART, Germany - General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, answers questions from participants of the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium in Stuttgart, Germany, April 14, 2011. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the three-day symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner)
STUTTGART, Germany - Vice Admiral Joe Leidig, U.S. Africa Command&#39;s deputy to the commander for military operations(left), speaks as part of a panel at the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium, April 12, 2011.  Other panel members pictured (from left to right): Gabonese Rear Admiral Herve Nambo, chief of Naval Staff; Ghanaian Commodore  Godson Kwabla Zowonoo, commander of Western Naval Command; Nigerian Commodore Akinsola Johnson; and Phillip J. Heyl, chief of U.S. AFRICOM&#39;s Air and Maritime Security Branch. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner)
STUTTGART, Germany - Participants of the U.S. Naval War College Alumni Regional Symposium gather for a group photo with General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command (center), in Stuttgart, Germany, April 14, 2011. Approximately 50 African graduates of the U.S. Naval War College as well as U.S. AFRICOM staff attended the three-day symposium to discuss regional maritime security issues and build relationships. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Danielle Skinner)
Maritime safety and security along the coast of Africa was the focus of a three-day military symposium, April 12-14, 2011, that brought together approximately 50 African leaders from 13 different nations. The symposium, held at the Millennium Hotel in Stuttgart, Germany, was hosted by U.S. Africa Command in partnership with the U.S. Naval War College. It was the seventh in a series of regional events designed for alumni of the Naval War College and international senior officers with the purpose of encouraging discussions and exchanging ideas on how to enhance regional maritime security. Most of the African participants are alumni of the Naval War College. Kicking off the event Monday, a panel of senior military leaders from the coastal nations of Gabon, Ghana, and Senegal talked to U.S. AFRICOM staff about their navies' capabilities and the challenges they face in securing the maritime domain. Each of the representatives emphasized the importance of interagency and regional partnerships in enforcing maritime security because of the difficulties of regulating the movement of vessels in such a vast area. "We cannot deal alone with these threats--it's a global picture," said Senegalese panelist Captain Aliou Moussa Sow, secretary general of HASSMAR (High Authority for the Coordination of Maritime Safety, Security, and the Protection of the Marine Environment). "This is why, for developing countries, we cannot tackle this problem alone. We need comprehensive cooperation. If you don't act today, tomorrow you may be the victim." Sow explained that prior to the creation of HASSMAR, Senegal lacked the capability to holistically respond to maritime disasters. This interagency group was developed following a tragic ferry crash in 2000, that killed approximately 1800 people on board, as a way to better coordinate between the Navy and the various agencies in Senegal and synchronize all efforts related to maritime security. Senegal also works on a regional level with The Gambia, Mauritania, and Cape Verde to coordinate common maritime security approaches. Gabonese Navy Rear Admiral Herve Nambo added that Gabon is also part of a regional group called the Gulf of Guinea Commission, which, in addition to Gabon, includes the nations of Angola, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, and Sao Tome and Principe. Together, these nations share information, resources, and work together to secure the Gulf of Guinea sub region. While each of the representatives talked about challenges specific to their nations, many issues were common among all African coastal nations, including illegal and unregulated fishing, drug trafficking, oil pollution, terrorism, and piracy. According to the panelists, illegal fishing is devastating to the economies of coastal nations, depleting fish stock, causing loss of jobs, and even leading to increased piracy, as workers are forced to find other means of livelihood. The International Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that financial losses due to illegal, unregulated, and undeclared fishing amounts to more than 10 billion U.S. dollars per year. Ghanaian Navy Commodore Godson Zowonoo, commander of Western Naval Command, stressed the need for more political focus and funding for maritime security, stating that the focus in West Africa has been predominantly land-centric, even though many countries' maritime domains are larger than their land areas. "Maritime security events in West Africa are under-resourced and have received scanty political attention. But we all know that the oceans are the source of food, mineral resources, recreation, and support among nations. In this era of globalization, maritime security is imperative to economic stability and is certainly essential for regional and global prosperity," he said. Drug trafficking is another significant maritime problem for African nations. Zowonoo explained that drugs are transported from South America through West African coastal nations and then onward to Europe or North America. The drugs are brought to shore with small canoes which are very difficult to detect. These illegal activities impact security and stability not only on the national and regional levels, but also on a global level. In the days following the panel discussion, participants took part in breakout sessions on regional maritime security and were given the opportunity to learn more about U.S. Africa Command during a series of briefings at the command headquarters on Kelley Barracks. While there, they met with U.S. AFRICOM Commander General Carter Ham, who is also a Naval War College alum. Ham shared his experiences as a Naval War College student and talked about the value of these types of collaborative events. "The more we can get together and discuss our shared security challenges, the better off we will all be. We won't always agree. I think this is one of the beauties of the Naval War College--that you learn to have a civil debate, an informed debate, even if you have strongly differing views on a particular matter. Together, we might be able to find a better solution to some of these very complex problems that all of our nations have to deal with. "When we get together, we always find that we have much more in common than we have differences," he added. U.S. Africa Command's Role in Maritime Security U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) works with African nations to counter illicit trafficking, with a particular focus on maritime trafficking along their coasts. This is accomplished through programs such as the African Maritime Law Enforcement Program (AMLEP) and the Africa Partnership Station (APS). AMPLEP is a combined law enforcement program designed to build partner maritime law enforcement capacity and help detect illicit activities within exclusive economic zones of participating nations. APS, supported by many international and African partners, is an ongoing program of at-sea training deployments in East and West Africa, which provides assistance to coastal nations with the goal of increasing maritime security and domain awareness. Read more: U.S. Naval War College's Coverage of the NWC Symposium
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