Denmark is to launch a new comprehensive Maritime Security Programme (2019-2021) in response to increasing piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea. The focus of the programme is the strengthening of legal frameworks and enforcement of maritime law, supporting implementation of maritime strategies, conducting research, dialogue and training in maritime security and building the operational capacities of navies and law enforcement agencies in the region.
The significant increase of piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea in recent years constitutes a serious security threat to international shipping including Danish operated vessels handling more than 40 % of the region’s maritime trade. A record number of violent incidents in the region was registered in 2018 and in 2019 the region has already reached a global record in kidnaping incidents. With 90% of all trade to West Africa travelling by sea, maritime safety and security remain vital for the regions development.
The Gulf of Guinea Maritime Security Programme is based on the “Priority Paper for the Danish Efforts to Combat Piracy and other types of Maritime Crime 2019-20022” launched in late 2018 with a stronger focus on the Gulf of Guinea than previous strategies.
While maintaining a regional perspective the EUR 6.6 million programme will focus on Ghana and Nigeria through the implementation of the following four main engagements:
Strengthening national and regional maritime law response through UNODC by improving legal framework and ability to investigate and prosecute maritime crime
Support implementation of maritime strategies through the IMO collaborating with maritime authorities in Ghana and Nigeria regarding maritime integrated and security strategies
Enhancing regional research and capacity development through the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra promoting regional cooperation, coordination and training of key maritime stakeholders in the region
Maritime operational planning and response to counter piracy through the Danish Defence further developing the Yauondé structure via the Interregional Coordination Center (ICC) and capacity of navies and other law enforcement agencies with a focus on Ghana and Nigeria in training, boarding and gathering evidences.
The programme is fully aligned with the Africa Union 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) and the ECOWAS Integrated Maritime Strategy (EIMS). Implementation will take place in close coordination with national partners and other international programmes on maritime security in the region.
The Embassies of Denmark in Ghana and Nigeria will collaborate closely on this programme with a view to strengthening maritime security in the region. Denmark has been involved in maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea during 2016-18 by supporting the EU-led Gulf of Guinea Inter-regional Network (GoGIN) program with EUR 1.8 million.