EMPOWER is the notion that clever use of technology, information and communication empowers its users. Nowadays, information is all around us and it is more accessible than ever. Those who know how to gather it, consider it and analyze it can empower themselves and empower others. EMPOWER is the idea of providing the technological systems that gather information – computers, radios, radar – together with the software that filters and analyzes data. It then puts in place manpower training so the technology can empower communities and governments. EMPOWER works by designing the best solution and supplying the most adequate equipment. It trains local staff both in maintaining the hardware and in operating the technology. Situations can change and technology moves on: EMPOWER works to ensure continuity.
New equipment, up-to-date software and an open approach to changing circumstances means work practices, rather than becoming outdated, are enhanced, even in rural areas with only remote connections to information infrastructures.
The sectors EMPOWER touches are diverse. They range from the analysis of coastal vessel data to the provision of details regarding egg production. The information systems may, in addition, be used to control operations such as fishing, or air and road traffic. Or they might be used in industrial manufacturing, agriculture and even the registration of land tax. The techno-led information systems are also well suited to telecommunication, and to the computerization of offices, schools, training centers and hospitals.
EMPOWER In Action:
Protection Of Territorial Waters
For nations bordering the sea, the protection and supervision of borders in general and the protection of maritime fishing in particular – is of vital importance. Angola’s Ministry of Fishing highlighted a need for such a protection system. EMPOWER came up with a solution. In order to protect its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) the Angolan government requested a system that would detect and combat illegal fishing along the country’s entire 1,300km coastline.
Mitrelli provided a complete and integrated monitoring system that controlled activities on territorial waters. This consisted of four radar systems, five regional coastal centers and eight coastal observation points, all of which were connected to a central command and control data room.
Tracking stations, patrol boats, blue boxes monitoring devices and a series of coastline control rooms were put in place to this end, and operational staff were trained. Mitrelli worked with the relevant authorities to enable this to be a completely integrated system, adding test procedures to equip staff to react to any adverse scenario. EMPOWER has demonstrated its expertize with this complex assignment, resulting in another successful project. Not only has overfishing and illegal fishing been reduced, but the government has reaped increased tax revenues from the fishing industry.