In West and Central Africa, ports are the main entry and exit points for the flow of goods and, to a lesser extent, people. Their importance is strategic for the African economy. In this context, port security is obviously part of maritime security, understood in a global manner, and therefore of national and regional security.
Since the 2000s, the Gulf of Guinea has experienced exponential growth in containerisation accompanied by a modernisation of the infrastructure; in addition to the legal trade in goods, this vector is also used by fraud organisations to set up all types of illicit trafficking such as narcotics, fake medicines, protected species, weapons, etc.
For the second consecutive year, the Interregional Maritime Security Institute (ISMI) in Abidjan is offering training for officials of administrations in charge of targeting and controlling containers.
This year, the focus will be on the fight against trafficking in fake medicines. In the wake of the Lomé Summit held on 18 January 2020 in Togo, as part of the fight against fake medicines, there is a real political awareness of this scourge which particularly affects Africa. Indeed, trafficking in falsified or substandard medicines is responsible for more than 100,000 deaths a year in Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It is estimated that in Africa, between 30% and 60% of the medicines placed on the market are fake.
About 20 auditors which include customs officers, police officers, maritime affairs administrators, naval officers – from 10 countries in the Gulf of Guinea are expected to attend.
This training, which will take place from 10 to 13 March 2020, is supported by the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and organized by the French Cooperation (DCSD), in partnership with the French Directorate General of Customs and Indirect Rights (DGDDI) and the post of regional customs Attaché.
The course will take place on the campus of the Regional Academy of Marine Science and Technology (ARSTM) in Yopougon, Abidjan.