Stable Seas: Gulf of Guinea explores the connections between maritime governance themes and security challenges, drawing on interviews conducted with experts and practitioners in seven countries across the region. Maritime insecurity threatens stability of coastal communities as well as their landlocked neighbors and puts the sustainable development of the region at risk.
Countries in the Gulf of Guinea region have made progress in securing the maritime domain, but the region’s complex geography, pervasive government corruption, numerous onshore security threats, and underdeveloped coastal welfare in several littoral states threatens maritime stability.
The oil and gas industry provides lots of opportunity for economic development across much of the region, but this growth is not always reflected in poor coastal populations. Furthermore, these industries accelerate degradation of the marine environment and increase vulnerability to climate change.
The overall number of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region declined in 2019, but the number of crew kidnapped for ransom increased by 60%, and the region remains extremely dangerous for seafarers.
Outbreaks of political violence in the region further weaken rule of law. Feelings of distrust in and resentment of the government fuel organized political violence, as well as the illicit trade of oil products, drugs, and arms.