RMC (Ghana) and IRHOB (Benin) sign Memorandums of Understanding with the AIR Centre to support blue economy in Western Africa

  • November 16, 2021 | by Tânia Li Chen

On November 5th, 2021, two African research organizations, the Regional Marine Centre (RMC), University of Ghana and the Benin Institute for Halieutic and Oceanographic Research (Institut de Recherches Halieutiques et Océanologiques du Bénin – IRHOB) signed Memorandums of Understanding with the AIR Centre with the goal to support Atlantic countries to achieve the goals and targets of blue economy for sustainable development while playing a significant role in the implementation of the “Belem Statement on Atlantic Research and Innovation Cooperation” and the “All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance”. Also on November 5th, 2021, the AIR Centre became an associate organization of the 2nd phase of the GMES & Africa program.

These two agreements aim at establishing a synergetic relationship with the objective to align activities, to optimize each organisation’s relevance and value to society by collaboration and enhancing mutual use of resources. The mission and vision of both RMC and IRHOB are well aligned with the AIR Centre’s mission areas.

RMC’s main RI&D activities are focused in research programs on EO applications in fisheries management, safe navigation of artisanal fishers and coastal area mapping which in turn aids in the development of decision-support tools for marine and coastal area management. RMC is also very active in promoting scientific cooperation, both inter-African and international, with research institutions and universities.

IRHOB’s mission is to carry out the necessary research or the knowledge of the aquatic environment (marine, lagoon and lake) with a view to its preservation and protection and contributing to the implementation of a system of rational management and exploitation of renewable and non-renewable, living and non-living aquatic resources through the integration of scientific, economic and sociological advice.

The signatures took place during the 3rd Regional Meeting of GMES & Africa (Marine) Program in Accra, Ghana. This project is implemented by RMC in partnership with seven other institutions, namely IRHOB, NIOMR, CRODT, GMet, CURAT, WIA and INDP. The objective is to provide decision-makers with information and tools that would support effective marine and coastal resources management in western Africa. This is being achieved through delivering EO services that enhance the formulation of marine, fisheries and environmental policies to support decision-making at the national and regional level. The GMES & Africa program provides its operational EO services to 12 ECOWAS coastal countries, namely Benin, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Through a network of national stakeholders, regional fisheries bodies, academia and researchers, the project is focused on providing actionable data for policy making in the 12 beneficiary countries.