The Maritime Trade Information Sharing Center for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GoG), a regional initiative by the Oil Company International Marine Forum (OCIMF) and its partners, was set up at the Regional Maritime University in Accra, Ghana, in 2013 as a communications hub that focuses on counter-piracy and maritime safety issues and offers communications links with merchant shipping, maritime operations centers (MOCs) and industry in the region.
Two staffs of RMRCC-Monrovia have so far benefited from the initiative. Junior Communicator Josiah Omasco Botoe, who represented his country with commitment and diligence at the MTISC-GoG Center in Accra, Ghana since 17 March to 17 July 2014, was among the first watch standers who were selected from the region. He ended his mission in July and was immediately replaced by another Junior Communicator, Reuben Marshall.
Over the four-month period in Ghana, Mr. Botoe acquired new skills which he has been displaying since his return. His dedication to duty and overall contribution to the joint MTISC-GoG Center did not go unnoticed as praises and commendations came from his supervisors and the management of the program. Mr. Marshall, expected to complete his mission at November end, is expected to also follow suit.
In broadening its participation in regional maritime operations, the RMRCC-Monrovia was invited by LTJG Gene A. Harrell imr, a NAVAF Exercise Communications Planner and Commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa Command, to join the 'Sametime Chat' to share maritime SAR and security information with other national and regional co-ordination centers around Africa and it is used in Saharan Express and Obangame Express (maritime exercises on the African west coast/Gulf of Guinea).
The chat capability is available for communications and co-ordination purposes with the other partner-nation users, MOC/MRCC centers, international maritime organizations, and information sharing centers.
After carefully investigating the program and its intentions, the Center accepted and joined the chat room early August.
The current users of this real-time chat system include but are not limited to MTISC-GoG, IMO HQ Watch, IMB Piracy Reporting Center, MOCs/MRCCs in Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritius, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Sao Tome, Togo, USA, etc.
September's report on the usage of the program indicates that the Center is one of its active users.