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President Akufo-Addo presents five boats to Ghana Navy, commissions oil spill vessel

Among the vessels that President Akufo-Addo commissioned are two 27-metre boats that will be used to patrol Ghana’s maritime borders

President Akufo-Addo on Saturday 9 September 2023 commissioned five boats for the Ghana Navy fleet and an oil spill response vessel for the Ghana Maritime Authority.

This is the second time President Akufo-Addo has presented vessels to the Navy, after the presentation of four offshore security vessels for the navy’s use in February 2022.

Among the vessels that the president commissioned into service on Saturday are two 27-metre boats, which will be used for patrolling Ghana’s maritime borders to the east and west.

Prominent guests at the commissioning by President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo of two 27-metre boats to patrol Ghana’s maritime borders (9 September 2023)

Ghana’s western maritime boundary with Côte d’Ivoire was delimited by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in September 2017, and there are efforts ongoing to delimit the eastern maritime boundary with Togo.

President Akufo-Addo told guests at the commissioning ceremony: “As we protect these maritime territories, there is a need to maintain significant naval presence, so as to prevent criminals from exploiting any contested areas. The classification of these boats as boundary-class ships of the Ghana Navy is fitting, and their names apt.”

The president was happy to note that the Ghana Navy Ships Half Assini and Aflao are products of co-operation between the Governments of Ghana and the United States of America.

Naval personnel on parade on 9 September 2023 as President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo commissions two 27-metre boats to patrol Ghana’s maritime borders

“We are grateful for the benevolence of the government and people of the United States. The United States has supported Ghana’s military revitalisation programme through capacity-building and enhancement of our capabilities, with the support of the navy’s Special Boat Squadron and other initiatives with the army and air force,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “The current five-year United States, Denmark and Ghana trilateral agreement is set to make the navy’s Special Boat Squadron a tier-one special operations force by 2026. The donation of these two 12-metre, defender-class boats will greatly enhance the operations of the navy in dealing with sophisticated operations when the need arises.

“It is refreshing to see the navy serving as a glue that is cementing international and local partnerships towards securing our interests at sea.”

He was particularly glad that the navy and the Ghana Maritime Authority are working together to operate the new Flex Fighter which has been procured for oil spill response.

“As you can see, different players with different expertise need to come together to work at sea, unlike in other domains. The Petroleum Commission and Ghana National Petroleum Company, both under the Ministry of Energy, are regulator and national operator, respectively, in our upstream oil and gas industry, yet it is the Ghana Maritime Authority, operating under the Ministry of Transport, that has procured a vessel for oil spill response to be operated with the navy,” he said.

On 9 September 2023 President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo commissioned two 27-metre boats to patrol Ghana’s maritime borders, including GNS Esther Afua Ocloo (pictured). Equipment acquired with support from the US government

Having launched the National Integrated Maritime Strategy last week, President Akufo-Addo applauded the team from the Ghana Navy that has built Ghana’s first indigenous landing craft.

“The NAVDOCK 1, which measures 11.5 metres in length, is designed to carry 30 personnel and one tonne of cargo. Their effort embodies the ingenuity, determination and can-do spirit of the Ghanaian people.

“I have been reliably informed that the Ministry of Fisheries and the naval shipyard are partnering with some private actors to replace the wooden canoes, used for fishing, with improved aluminium boats,” the president said.

He was hopeful that, in time, such collaboration will help develop Ghana’s shipbuilding industry and offer jobs to young Ghanaians while mitigating the environmental impact of wooden canoes.

On 9 September 2023 President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo commissioned two 27-metre boats to patrol Ghana’s maritime borders, including GNS Half Assini. Boats acquired with support from the US government

“I charge you to collaborate with our academic institutions and the private sector so that this innovation is developed further to include other platforms for the safe transportation of passengers and goods on Lake Volta and along our coasts,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo reminded Ghanaians of the arduous task ahead in guarding the country’s maritime frontiers and the need to work together to keep Ghana’s waters safe and protect the nation’s interests.

“These vessels symbolise our resolve to safeguard our maritime sovereignty, and I have … no doubt that the crew will live up to the high standards of professionalism that the Ghana Navy embodies.

“I acknowledge the sacrifices of the families of our servicemen and women who make certain that these gallant sailors have the peace of mind to be at sea to ply their trade,” he said.

President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo commissions two 27-metre boats to patrol Ghana’s maritime borders. Joining him at the commissioning ceremony were Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Defence Staff, and the US ambassador, Virginia Palmer

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