Global aerospace and technology company, Paramount Group has announced its Platinum Sponsorship of the upcoming International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (IMDEC 2021), to be held from July 6th- 8th in Accra, Ghana, in strong support of the hosts, the Ghanaian Navy and Air Force. Recognized today as the largest annual African maritime security gathering, IMDEC 2021 takes place against the backdrop of the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) having experienced a sharp rise in piracy and armed robberies during 2020, compromising maritime trade at a time when the industry in Africa was already wethering the economic shocks of the COVID-19 outbreak (a recent report by UNCTAD estimated the drop in Africa’s exports at -35%).
Senior Vice President of Paramount Group, Eric Ichikowitz stated: “As the world reeled from the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, often unreported was the landmark year for piracy and the rise in threats to maritime security. With nearly 200 incidents of piracy having taken place in 2020 alone, the highest number of total piracy attacks over the last three years, it is now more important than ever that African navies and the maritime industry come together at IMDEC, to engage in the necessary, constructive discourses to reinforce Africa’s primary gateway to the global marketplace. Over 90% of maritime kidnappings worldwide last year were reported to have taken place in the Gulf of Guinea. This is a staggering statistic that specifically impacts foreign direct investment, intra-African trade and our blue economies, representing the future potential of Africa’s maritime and coastal waters.”
These scenarios stifled West African trade and transportation and highlighted a readiness gap in African maritime infrastructure across the continent at large, forcing an industry-wide rethink of modern maritime security and sustainability. They have underscored an urgency behind fostering greater innovation and Pan-African collaboration and a need to embolden resiliency in the face of a myriad of threats. IMDEC 2021 will host numerous West African Chiefs of Naval Staff and government leaders such as the Vice President of Ghana, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, alongside representatives from intercontinental law enforcement agencies, industry experts and members of the international press community.
IMDEC serves as a timely opportunity for the hundreds of attendees participating to gainâ€¯first-hand knowledge, share their productâ€¯offerings and engage in meaningful dialogues regarding the potential for improving the effectiveness and versatility of marine vessels, mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on future maritime security operations and trade, implementing new technologies and commercial solutions to adapt to present-day challenges, localising production and enhancing mechanical repair and overhaul (MRO) services across the Gulf of Guinea through strategic investments and overviewing interagency approaches to greater regional cooperation. Paramount Group serves as a proud partner to numerous African navies, offering a wide range of advanced, multi-role naval vessels; from interceptor, light strike vessels to off-shore patrol vessels. In addition, the company has provided a myriad of systems installation and integration programmes, offering lifetime support in a local capacity, often accomplished through equipment upgrades installation and high-skills training.