Maritime professionals from Africa, Europe and the U.S. concluded the Africa Partnership Station (APS) Annual Planning Conference, Sept. 17.
The 3-day conference allowed training officers from African maritime forces to express maritime capacity desires and work with U.S. and European stakeholders to build training plans to meet capability gaps.
The conference also allowed for dialogue on regional maritime issues and how to increase regional cooperation to address those issues.
Naval leaders of nations attending expressed appreciation for the benefits of the APS program.
“The benefits of this program are so numerous and not only for us, the country of Nigeria, but the continent of Africa,” said Nigerian Navy Rear Adm. Begroy Ibe-Enwo.
The conference brought together representatives from European APS partner providers, U.S. military forces, interagency stakeholders and African partners from Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, and Togo.
“I can see from the people who are here today that we are closer than before; we have formed a community through these exercises and planning events,” said Ghanaian Navy Rear Adm. Mark Yawson. “I ask everybody to continue to hold our hands together, and continue to dialogue, train and exercise in order to achieve the goal of the unification of Africa and our partner nations.”
APS is an international security cooperation initiative aimed at enhancing maritime forces’ information sharing practices, response capabilities, and regional cooperation to improve safety and security in the waters around Africa.