The Role of Diplomacy in the Challenges to Maritime Security Cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea: Case Study of Nigeria

Date: 2012
File: PDF
There is presently a pervading feeling that the West and Central African states are long overdue to take control of their maritime environment. However, these expectations show no indication of materialising in the short term.
There is a growing interest in the Gulf of Guinea and indeed the global village is impatient for these States to take responsibility for security and translate it to developmental indices of trade and commerce derivable from the maritime environment. Of course the global players in the maritime industry also expect to benefit from such attainments. The nations of the sub-region have embarked on individual and collective efforts to confront the myriad of security challenges that have continued to set them back, with little known results and much disharmony. In this era of heightened maritime security awareness, this paper purposes to exploit the potentials for diplomacy in bridging the gaps and cementing the individual efforts of the concerned states towards a cooperative maritime security regime. This study will focus on Nigeria, a central state and a driver to many initiatives in the Region with a view to relating its experiences to the general. The study presents a model for cooperative maritime security structure for the Gulf of Guinea. The model uses existing cooperation mechanisms to harmonise the efforts of individual states and organisations to achieve synergy. The model structured along presently functional lines of cooperation is unlikely to suffer from fresh bouts of prejudices. However, diplomacy will be relied upon to achieve the necessary compromises and trade-offs critical to success. Diplomacy would also be required to engender the necessary international support that would make for funding and technical support which are direly needed in the Region for success.

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