USAFRICOM visits Ghanaian President and attends International Maritime Summit



By U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs United States Africa Command Accra, Ghana May 06, 2024
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U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Michael Langley, Commander, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Amb. Robert Scott, AFRICOM Deputy for Civil-Military Engagement, and U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj Michael Woods, Command Senior Enlisted Leader visited Accra, Ghana, Apr. 30th through May 1st, to meet with senior Ghanaian leaders and participate in the African Maritime Forces Summit (AMFS) and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa (MARFORAF)’s Naval Infantry Leadership Summit-Africa (NILS-A).

Langley spoke at the opening ceremony for AMFS and NILS-A 2024 that had over 40 countries from four different continents attend. The events served as a crucial platform for identifying, sharing, and implementing solutions in collaboration with African coastal nations.

In her opening remarks to the conference, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Virginia E. Palmer said, “Ghana has long been a leader in regional security and an exporter of peace.  Our security cooperation with Ghana is about building a long-term partnership, learning from each other, sharing best practices, and training together.   We appreciate President Akufo-Addo’s leadership and General Langley’s and AFRICOM’s important role in this partnership.” 

In addition, Langley, along with the Ambassador, met with His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana and his cabinet to discuss ways the two nations could work together more in security cooperation.

AFRICOM, in coordination with Ghanaian defense forces, has been actively engaged in countering violent extremism and combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU-F) activities along the African coast. The collaboration between AFRICOM and Ghanaian defense forces underscores a shared commitment to regional stability and security.

"Ghana plays a pivotal role in ensuring maritime security in the region, and it's an honor to engage with our Ghanaian counterparts and partners to address common challenges." said Langley. "The AMFS/NILS-A underscores the importance of international collaboration in tackling maritime security threats, and through forums like these, we strengthen our partnerships and enhance our collective capabilities."

During the visit, Scott and Woods toured the U.S. Sixth Fleet’s USS Hershel Woody Williams, highlighting the ship's importance in regional maritime security efforts. As a mobile sea base, the USS Hershel Woody Williams serves as a critical asset in supporting maritime operations, including counter-terrorism efforts, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief missions across the African continent.

AMFS/NILS-A sets the stage for West Africa’s largest maritime exercise, Obangame Express, which will commence shortly after the conclusion of the summit. This exercise, spanning across Africa’s West Coast from Cabo Verde to Namibia, demonstrates the commitment of the United States and its partners to enhancing maritime security and fostering regional cooperation.

Additionally, Scott, Woods, and Ms. Maura Barry, USAID Senior Developmental Advisor (SDA) to AFRICOM toured Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority facility and received a presentation at a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project that combats IUU-F at the port in Tema, Ghana. This event show cased AFRICOM’s 3D approach (defense, development, and diplomacy.)

Langley's visit to Ghana underscores AFRICOM's dedication to strengthening partnerships and advancing maritime security initiatives across the African continent. The U.S. and Ghana share a long history of promoting democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Ghana has set an example for countries throughout Africa in promoting resilient democratic institutions, transparent and peaceful transitions of power, and regional stability.

AFRICOM leadership engaged Ghanaian and West African leadership throughout the week sharing with audiences the important of AMFS/NILS-A, the importance of the U.S.-Ghanaian relationship, and the need for more collaboration to counter IUU-F.

This is the second convening of AMFS, after Cabo Verde hosted the inaugural edition of the Summit in March 2023. It is also the third NILS-A, with the most recent convening occurring in Dakar, Senegal in 2022. AMFS/NILS-A 2024 marks the first time these have been combined into a single event.

U.S. Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is one of 11 U.S. Department of Defense combatant commands, each with a geographic or functional mission that provides command and control of military forces in peace and war. U.S. Africa Command employs the broad-reaching diplomacy, development, and defense approach to foster interagency efforts and help negate the drivers of conflict and extremism in Africa.

For more information, visit our website, Facebook and Twitter pages, or contact U.S. Africa Command Media Relations at africom-pao-media@mail.mil

 

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