Gulf of Guinea Security: What actions have followed the Abuja Declaration?

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Some key points in the communique raised and adopted by stakeholders at the Global Maritime Security Conference(See here), which held in Abuja from October 7-9, 2019, included the following points among others that:   

“States of GoG and her international partners should give priority attention to training and capacity building for relevant stakeholders involved in maritime security including national maritime authorities, law enforcement agencies and navies as first responders. 
                       
“Navies/Coast Guards and maritime law enforcement agencies in the GoG states should engage in regular joint maritime operations, including with international partners, to harmonise operational procedures, training standards and foster interoperability.”

However, nice and encouraging as these strategies proposed seem, the industry has yet seen any action in those regard.

The GOG area has since recorded pockets of pirate attacks. It is only natural to think that if the suggested regular joint marine operations between the navies and the maritime law enforcement agencies in the GOG states had taken off immediately, those incidences would have been prevented.

The industry is also yet to know if the proposed training and capacity building for relevant stakeholders involved in maritime security in the states have started. It will be good to know.

However, if none of those have started, it will behoove the responsibility of the Federal Government to take the necessary action, as the protection of the GoG maritime domain is highly important to the development of the Blue Economy. 

It is worthy of note that delegates and participants from about 80 countries of the world, sat in discussions of 11 different thematic sessions in the three-day conference on global maritime security.

During the Conference, observations were made on 4 major clusters of issues to an amenable regional maritime environment, and they include: 

a.     The legal/policy/regulatory framework for maritime security.
b.     The institutional framework and capacities.
c.      The material, human, financial, technological and other resources needed to enhance security in the GoG.
d.     The ways and means of implementing the necessary strategies for enhanced maritime security in the region.