For effective maritime security, strong participation of civil society actors is needed. Barthélémy Blédé pointed out this Tuesday, October 12, 2021, the importance of these civil society actors in the management of maritime safety during a workshop. Expert responsible for civil society and the private sector of the project to support integrated maritime security in West Africa (Swaims), advocated the involvement of civil society in matters related to maritime security and safety.
We know that our area, which is the Gulf of Guinea, is considered, globally, an unsafe area. And, therefore, it is necessary to insure the merchant ships, fishing, especially the so-called artisan of which our populations live. Therefore, we cannot do it without civil society, “Blédé said at the end of the opening ceremony of the regional workshop on advocacy, fundraising and conflict management for the benefit of civil society in Africa’s maritime sector. An international meeting in Saly that brought together 20 delegates from Senegal, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.
If you want to secure areas and exclude these people (civil society actors), you will get tired. Because they know who is who. And if they don’t get involved in what you’re doing, they can be complicit in pirates, fishermen, or even criminals. That is why it is essential that civil society is fully involved in the policy we are pursuing at ECOWAS level and against maritime insecurity with the support of partners, ”he said.
According to him, maritime safety is a guarantee of a quiet and accessible life for all populations. ” Unreported and unregulated illegal fishing. The problem of fishing is mainly a matter of food security. Then there is piracy that everyone knows and that is a major scourge. This is much more important as pirates threaten the region’s economy and this can have an impact at all levels (social, political, etc.) because if the area is unsafe, ships can take the risk, but they will charge much higher goods. And if transportation is high, it will increase the price of goods in the market. And if the price of goods rises in the market, it will impoverish the population and make it unhappy. Then we will always be insecure. ”