Thursday, 11.09.14 - Yaounde, Cameroon

Securing the Maritime Space in the Gulf of Guinea

Maritime security should be part of national and sub-regional public discourse in order to promote innovative cross-regional cooperation initiatives to address the comprehensive peace and security challenges threatening stability in the Gulf of Guinea region. This appeal was made recently in Yaounde at a joint international conference by the FES and the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) for strategies for maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. The conference was part of activities leading to the inauguration of the ICC with headquarters in Yaounde-Cameroon. The Civilian/military experts at this conference were unanimous that putting in place integrated frameworks for human protection, sustainable economic and social development would put to use the full potentials of the Gulf of Guinea: hydrocarbons, water resources etc. Unfortunately piracy, illegal trade, crime and pollution have characterized the Gulf of Guinea as one of the most vulnerable maritime zones in the world within the past decade: "300.000 barrels of petrol are stolen on a daily basis, 169 crimes were recorded in 2013 as against 60 in 2010, 350 million dollars are lost yearly from illegal fishing are lost."

The FES/ICC conference provided an opportunity for the international experts to stress on holistic security strategies on maritime trade, development, security architecture, comparative maritime security approaches, socio-economic approaches, sustainable management of natural resources and the protection of local populations in the Gulf of Guinea.

Experts invited to the conference by the FES were concerned about socio-economic strategies for social justice and inclusive participation for development. According to Mr. Silvère Songue, Researcher, Diplomat, Expert on peace, security and development issues "An inclusive policy on resource governance where there is the political will and an enabling environment, would benefit the community and the local masses who are victims of social and economic deprivation. Regional and sub-regional integrated approaches which take into consideration cultural plurality, integrated management mechanisms, the trans-border nature of resources, the ecosystems and the degree of sensibility of resources could lead to the protection of the masses and sustainable development". Professor Yves Paul Mandjem, Researcher and Professor at the international relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC) on his part added that "Maritime security strategies would have more meaning if they protect populations in distress especially those facing wars, epidemics and catastrophes, migrants, fishermen, fishing vessels etc."

The ICC is an implementing organ for the maritime security strategies in the Gulf of Guinea. It is an initiative of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCASS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as well as the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) . ICC was launched on September 11th 2014 in Yaounde-Cameroon.

Through the FES/ICC conference, FES Cameroon contributes to several FES’ activities on the topic of Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea. Find below some relevant links of FES related work.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Peace and Security Centre of Competence Sub-Saharan Africa

P.O. Box 15 416
Point E, boulevard de l’Est villa n°30
Dakar - Fann

+221 33 859 20 02

info(at)fes-pscc.org
www.fes-pscc.org

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