The wealth within, the wealth unseen: reflections on the Gulf of Guinea’s maritime domain

The wealth within, the wealth unseen: reflections on the Gulf of Guinea’s maritime domain

The rapid escalation of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Aden over the past decade has made maritime security a policy priority both for Africa and globally. Although maritime security incidents also increased in the Gulf of Guinea, on Africa’s western coast, this area did not initially generate the same degree of diplomatic and military response. To an extent, this reflects the decades of neglect of the region’s maritime domain by countries in the region and broader stakeholders.

This paper analyses numerous factors that have contributed to the neglect of the Gulf of Guinea’s maritime domain and considers the potential regional challenges and threats that have emerged as a result. It also examines the effectiveness of the strategies and initiatives being undertaken by various stakeholders to strengthen maritime domain awareness in the region and reduce the levels of insecurity caused by the decades of neglect.

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