Gulf of Guinea call to enhance maritime safety

[NMS Note: This has been auto translated by Google from the original French]

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, Hanna Tetteh Serwah, called on other countries in the Gulf of Guinea to strengthen cooperation mechanism to address the issue of maritime safety. The Gulf of Guinea exposed to increasing threats to the marine industry over the past five years. Growing concerns are gradually on the threat of piracy, armed robbery at sea, drug trafficking, and illegal fishing, unreported and documented in the Gulf of Guinea.

These threats have been highlighted by various reports that the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel. Speaking to a regional group of Gulf of Guinea on Wednesday in Accra, Ms Tetteh noted that much of the piracy in the Indian Ocean took place in high seas, but the ship hijacking in the Gulf of Guinea, particularly in West Africa, took place in territorial waters.

Therefore, it is imperative that countries work together to review the agreements and mechanisms international collaboration to find an appropriate way to deal with this situation, she said. Ms Tetteh also stressed that the security of the Gulf of Guinea region covering the territorial waters and exclusive economic territories of several countries in Africa Central and Western, requires efficient mechanisms for collaboration, cooperation and sharing of information in order to fully address this critical situation. “In this regard, we welcome the collaboration and assistance of this group to help put end to this situation, “Ms Tetteh said.

The Special Representative for the fight against maritime piracy in the French Foreign Ministry, Ambassador V√©ronique Roger-Lacan, has called on African leaders to continue to mobilize their resources and administration to deal with maritime issues. “We believe it is in our common interest to work together to address this threat because the freedom of navigation and trade is something extremely important for the region for Africa and for us all. ”

According to a report of the Security Council of the United Nations issued in February 2012, piracy caused an annual loss of $ 2 billion in revenue for African economies in West, and the number of ships docked in Cotonou, capital of Benin, decreased by 70% due to these attacks. It is estimated that 70% of oil production in Africa is concentrated on the West Coast Gulf of Guinea. Experts believe that countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ghana, who discovered large amounts of offshore oil resources, are likely to experience an increase in pirate attacks against oil rigs and commercial vessels if effective strategies are planned and implemented to prevent maritime crime.


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