Stronger maritime cooperation in Madagascar & Comorosby Isabelle Gachie Vinson 2 November 2017
On 27 October 2017, in Antanarivo (Madagascar), the Prime Minister of Madagascar chaired the closing ceremony of the CRIMARIO last training session and the signing ceremony of maritime information sharing agreements between the MIFC (Maritime Fusion Centre of Madagascar) and 9 Malagasy administrations. The ceremony was attended by the EU Ambassador in Madagascar and ambassadors of the five IOC countries (Comoros, France, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles).
These two events, and the high attendance level, illustrate how both the EU CRIMARIO project and the RMIFC advocate regional cooperation and interagency coordination, in order to control crimes and incidents at sea.
The EU CRIMARIO project has designed a complete training programme on maritime data analysis for the specialized staff of civilian and military agencies involved in the action of State at sea. Implemented in collaboration with RMIFC (Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre), this first cycle was attended by 25 participants from Comoros and Madagascar: it breaks down into six sessions on data visualisation and three on data analysis, delivered by a dozen European specialists during the year 2017. As a result of this cycle, six trainers on visualisation have been certified and some fifteen analysts have acquired trainer skills, which will further facilitate knowledge and practice updates.
During this last session (from 9 to 26 October 2017), participants were able to reflect on various potential situations such as the closure of Suez Canal and its impact on maritime traffic or the consequences of ship collision in Comorian waters. With this cycle, specialists working within the RMIFC and agencies involved in the action of State at sea have developed a collaborative spirit, favourable to the information sharing.
The end of this cycle was marked by the development of actions led by the MIFC resulting in the signing of maritime information sharing agreements between the MIFC and the agencies working in the maritime domain (Prime Minister’s office agencies, National Defence, Environment, Meteorology, National Gendarmerie, Internal Security, Scientific Research, National Hydrographical Institute, Fisheries Surveillance).
With these agreements, MIFC will be able to improve the interagency maritime information sharing and to provide an enriched analysis of the situation off Madagascar as well as decision-making and warning elements.
In the coming months, maritime cooperation will be enhanced with the construction by CRIMARIO of a web portal called IORIS, dedicated to maritime information sharing and incident management at sea and proposed to all the partner countries of the project. In the same way, RMIFC will ramp up progressively on a technical level and will welcome the liaison officers from the countries of the region, allowing the centre to monitor in real time any event at sea, detect anomalies and alert the competent authorities.