The Gulf of Guinea region has become a focal point for international concerns of maritime security over the last decade, with official reporting databases suggesting that it represents a global hotspot for incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea. Yet as reporting efforts and capacity have advanced alongside this surge in recorded incidents, the extent to which this data alone should inspire alarm relative to historic regional norms remains contested. Equally, piracy and armed robbery at sea remain only two parts of a complex broader picture of interlocking challenges in the maritime domain, including trafficking; oil theft and related pollution; illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and the impact of climate change on the oceans and West African coastline.
A range of new initiatives focused on the region are seeking to address these issues, most notably Nigeria’s recently launched Deep Blue project and a new multilateral forum on Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration (GOG-MCF/SHADE). As these new efforts move closer to full implementation, a critical window has opened to ensure that they are aligned with existing regional and international collaboration frameworks and work to address the full spectrum of challenges in the maritime arena, including the broader underlying causes of insecurity.
This conference will analyse the factors contributing to insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea’s maritime space, including the root causes sustaining piracy, armed robbery at sea and other forms of maritime crime; and explore pathways to both enhance and coordinate effective policy responses to these challenges.
This event will also be broadcast live on the Chatham House website and Africa Programme Facebook page.
Professor Eghosa E. Osaghae, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs
The Rt Hon. Robert Courts MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, UK Department for Transport
Hon. Lynda Chuba Ikepazu, Chairman, Maritime Safety Education and Administration Committee
Rear Admiral Abraham Adaji, Chief of Training and Operations, Naval Headquarters, Nigerian Navy
Lieutenant Commander Kofi Amponsah Duodu, Head of Maritime Security, Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute
Christina Katsouris, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House
Aganran Ganiu Alao, Zonal Commander for Lagos State, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP)
Admiral Narciso Fastudo, Jr, Executive Director, Inter Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) Yaoundé
Joanna Vallat, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
Rear Admiral Jürgen Ehle, Managing Director for CSDP and Crisis Response, European External Action Service (EEAS)
Paul Opuama Apoy, Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria
Dr Felicia Chinwe Mogo, President, African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative
Mojisola Oyeronke Adegbile, Chief Research Officer, Marine Biology Section, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR)
Chisa Theodora Uba, Partner and Head, Shipping and International Trade Unit, Dentons ACAS-Law
Chair: Dr Alex Vines OBE, Managing Director, Risk, Ethics and Resilience; Director, Africa Programme, Chatham House
Chair: Ben Llewellyn-Jones OBE, British Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission, Lagos
Chair: Dr Freedom C. Onuoha, Senior Lecturer, University of Nigeria, Nsukka