The Gulf of Guinea is criss-crossed by numerous shipping lanes and is not short of security challenges.
Angola is mobilised to control its maritime space and asserts its maritime sovereignty in the region.
Angola invests in its maritime sovereignty
The country’s investment has been confirmed with the signing of a “major milestone contract” worth €1 billion for the construction of a fleet of 71 corvettes.
The corvettes are Combattante BR71 MKIIs developed by Cherbourg shipyard CMN. These ships will be used to monitor and secure the country’s coastline.
Angola is also looking to bolster its space fleet with a latest-generation Earth observation satellite. Sovereign access to satellite imagery will make a significant contribution to the mapping of natural resources and maritime surveillance, including fisheries.
Angola, a major player in maritime security in the region
Angola’s maritime security is coordinated by the Angolan Navy’s Maritime Operations Centre (MOC). The MOC Angola is an operational body, responsible for the constant surveillance of all Angolan maritime spaces against violations of national sovereignty, customs and fishing offences, as well as the interconnection between the different sectors of maritime interest.
From 5 to 9 June 2023, the Angolan Navy took part in the 2023 edition of the MEGALOPS – AFRICAN NEMO 23.3. This maritime security exercise is organised in partnership with the French Elements of Gabon (EFG) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
Angola and three other Central African countries, as well as the maritime security chain organisations in the area, were involved in the exercise conducted as part of Operation CORYMBE. The exercise strengthened cooperation and coordination between the various participants. By combining exercises at sea and maritime surveillance missions, Angola improves its interoperability for future joint patrols.
Angola and France strengthen their cooperation
The French Navy’s PHM Commandant Birot also took part in the maritime security exercise AFRICAN NEMO 23.3. During this exercise, the patrol reported a large number of fishermen suspected of illegal fishing.
The information reported by the French patrol boat to the coastal states, via the Yaoundé “Yaris” architecture exchange network, enabled them to analyse the techniques and identities of the fishermen operating in their waters.
Taking advantage of the MHP’s presence in the area, Angola and France strengthened their cooperation, with a joint exercise involving crews from both countries.
During its stopover in the port of Luanda, life-saving equipment was donated to the Small-scale, semi-industrial and industrial fishing association, including torches, lifejackets, lifebuoys and bugles, courtesy of the French Navy’s Atlantic Coast Command (Ceclant).