Ensuring Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea: Effective Regional Cooperation and Roles of International Partners

Against the backdrop of failure to protect the maritime domain from a wide range of threats that will result in the seas and oceans becoming arenas for international conflicts, terrorism and organized crimes, a considerable number of countries, regional and international actors have initiated a variety of programmes and projects to elicit robust international cooperation to combat maritime crimes and ensure effective maritime governance.

Some of such maritime security initiatives in place already, for example, in the Gulf of Guinea include EIMS, ECCA Maritime Strategy (Yaoundé Summit) and the Lome Charter, and the establishment of the Gulf of Guinea Commission.

There are also others conceived and led by international actors like G7++FOGG. To ensure the success of these initiatives a number of activities have been carried out by way of capacity building in areas such as institutions, human, legal and the military; as well as infrastructural support. While these initiatives have been helpful in strengthening regional efforts to extinguish maritime crimes from the region, an overview show that more need to be done, and that is improving regional cooperation than exist presently. In encouraging effective regional cooperation therefore, discussion will focus on areas of the region’s public goods such as information sharing, infrastructure, environment management, specific capacity building, joint assets financing, best practices and peer review, exchange programmes and visits, development of the blue economy. In this regard, it will examine the potentially beneficial roles that international partners or actors may play in bringing the region to cooperative equilibrium; as reaching a cooperative solution on such matters can be constrained by sociopolitical complexities and the financial requirements. Thus, their involvement is helping in embedding of trust, expertise and financing. The discussion will also help identify specific collaborative partnerships that will enhance safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.

Loic Moudouma

Deputy Chief, the Gabon Navy

Will be leading the discussion on this theme at the conference