From August 28th to September 1st, 2023, SEACOP orchestrated an empowering mentorship course on ship inspections for law enforcement agencies operating in the port of Cotonou, Benin.
The 5-day training directly benefited 14 agents, including two dedicated female personnel, coming from the National Navy, Customs, and the Police (comprising the Joint Maritime Control Unit, Container Control Unit, and River Brigade). This mentorship follows the successful completion of the initial rummage training delivered by SEACOP back in May of this year.
The mentorship served as a critical evaluation of the operational capacities of these agents, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. Our SEACOP experts provided invaluable insights and supplementary training to enhance the unit’s operational readiness. The training was led by an expert from French Customs, with assistance from a member of the Dakar-based Control Unit for Ships in Senegal.
The closing ceremony witnessed the presence of Benin’s esteemed authorities, including the Maritime Prefecture, the Port Authority, Mr. Pavlos Evangelidis, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation in Benin, the Maritime Counselor at the Embassy of France in Benin, and SEACOP’s Deputy Regional Coordinator, Akizi-Egnim Akala.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Akala expressed profound gratitude for the unwavering support of Benin’s authorities towards the SEACOP project. He highlighted their resolute commitment to combatting illicit maritime and port-related activities and encouraged the establishment of a robust follow-up mechanism for routine vessel inspections.