2 August 2016

West Africa: Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea: Establishing Law, Generating Order


SAIIA Policy Briefings 151, July 2016

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Governance of Africa's Resources Programme

Maritime security has become a buzzword in recent years as criminal activities at sea threaten a wide range of geostrategic, security and economic imperatives. In few other places in the world is this problem more pointed than in the Gulf of Guinea on Africa's western coast. While countries in the region are receptive to mechanisms promoting co-operation in tackling maritime insecurity, problems are posed by inadequate information around the nature and extent of maritime crime, as well as a dearth of legal instruments to address this activity.

This presents an important challenge to evidence-based policymaking, and prevents capacity-constrained countries from using their resources in the most effective way. The impending AU summit on maritime security and safety to be convened in October 2016 in Lomé, Togo, however, provides a unique opportunity to address these obstacles.

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