Taiwan on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) that will allow for the establishment of a Maritime Communications Initiative, a new communications network to increase maritime safety along the Somali coast.
The MOU was signed in Brussels by Tung Kuo-yu (董國猷), Taiwan’s representative to the EU and Belgium, and James Burnell-Nugent, senior fellow of OBP, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At the recommendation of the European Union, Taiwan has provided OBP with a grant of US$166,000 for the Maritime Communications Initiative. The donation will be used to establish maritime security centers in five Somali ports over a two-year period to enhance maritime communications in Somalia, the ministry said.
OBP is a project of the One Earth Future Foundation, a privately funded and independent non-profit organization based in the United States.
OBP has been working with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, EUCAP Nestor (a European mission to enhance the maritime capacities of countries in the Horn of Africa), UN Food and Agriculture Organization, EU Naval Force, and US African Command to improve awareness of maritime security and maritime communications capacity across Somalia, the ministry said.
Taiwan’s donation will help OBP supply communications equipment and sustainable power options to the five maritime security centers and collaborate with the above partners to ensure maritime security, the ministry said.