The Political Economy of Maritime Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea: Dissecting the Kidnap for Ransom Menace
[ Afua A. Lamptey & Frank O. Okyere]
The Gulf of Guinea (GoG) accounted for nearly half of all reported piracy incidents in the first three months of 2021 according to the first quarter report of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). Further in 2020, 195 piracy incidents were recorded globally, with 135 attributed to crew kidnapped. Of this, the GoG accounted for 96 percent of crew kidnapped, making the region the most dangerous maritime expanse in the world. While these reports detail comprehensively the nature of attacks and dynamics of kidnapping, they fail to document the demand and supply undercurrents of this criminal activity. In particular, they fall short of recognizing the actors fueling the kidnap for ransom ‘business’ by paying or facilitating the payment of huge sums to secure the release of kidnapped crew. Other significant reports on piracy in the GoG are also silent on ransom payments and how they aggravate insecurity in the region. This creates a serious analytical gap for policymakers seeking to address the problem of piracy in the region. It further frustrates measures being put in place by regional actors to prevent the menace through the cooperative mechanisms created under the Yaoundé Architecture. This policy paper provides an overview of maritime piracy, emphasizing the political economy of maritime piracy whiles highlighting the destabilizing effects of ransom payments on maritime security in the GoG. The goal is to sensitize both regional and international maritime actors, as well as provoke a policy response in tackling the issue.
Afua A. Lamptey is the Deputy Head of Programme on the Conflict Management Programme at the Faculty of Academic Aﬀairs and Research (FAAR), Koﬁ Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).
Frank O. Okyere is the Head of the Peace Support Operations Programme at the Faculty of Academic Aﬀairs and Research (FAAR), Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).
Ensuring Effective Prosecution of Maritime Crimes in the Gulf of Guinea: A Focus on Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone
[ Kwaku Danso & Naila Salihu]
The Gulf of Guinea is experiencing a surge in the incidence of maritime crimes in recent years. This development has been attributed to multiple challenges that include high rates of youth unemployment in the littoral states of West and Central Africa, state capacity weakness, and the absence of appropriate legislation to prosecute maritime crimes. Aside from the threat they pose to the security of states and societies in the region, the effect of marine-based criminality on shipping and insurance is undermining the attraction of the Gulf of Guinea as a major ecosystem for maritime commerce. Ongoing efforts aimed at countering the menace are invariably hampered by inadequate and inappropriate legislation that undermine the basis for due process and effective prosecution of illegal operators. Currently, many countries in the region have yet to adopt specific legal frameworks that ensure effective prosecution of maritime crimes. With a focus on Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone, this study was conducted to identify the main challenges impeding effective prosecution of maritime crimes in the GoG, and to explore alternate options through which it is possible to enhance prosecution in the maritime domain of countries in the region. Among other challenges, the paper identified inadequate and inappropriate legislation, the lack of specialized knowledge, ineffective inter-agency collaboration, and the failure to sign, ratify or domesticate international conventions as major impediments. The paper argues that the development of effective legal frameworks applicable to maritime crime prosecution is fundamental to the delivery of maritime security governance in the Gulf of Guinea.
Dr. Naila Salihu is Research Fellow and Deputy Programme Head at the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research (FAAR) at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC). She is also a faculty member and lecturer for post-graduate programmes
at KAIPTC. She specializes in research on peacebuilding, democratic processes, defence and security sector governance in Africa.
Dr. Kwaku Danso is a Research Fellow and Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Academic Aff airs and Research of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC). His research interests revolve around maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, transitional and relational justice, DDR in conventional and non-permissive contexts, election related violence, and security knowledge generation in postcolonial locales. Kwaku teaches and facilitates a number of courses at the KAIPTC.
Examining the Gendered Dynamics of Maritime Insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea
[ Fiifi Edu-Afful (PhD)]
The maritime environment is typically male-dominated and women’s inclusion into the sector remains a challenge. Maritime insecurity is impacting coastal societies around the Gulf of Guinea (GOG) in an unprecedented manner. Insecurities within the GOG maritime domain has diverse impacts on women, men, boys and girls, both directly and indirectly. However, discourse on these insecurities have over the years overlooked the gendered nuances. The role of women within these narratives have predominantly centered on the fisheries value chain and the need to address illegal fishing that affects their livelihoods. Reported statistics on maritime insecurities within this space largely fail to capture the gendered dynamics and in situations where these statistics are available, is rarely sex disaggregated. Gender is central to both the problem and the solution. Given that maritime insecurity is not gender blind, the response to addressing these insecurities must capture the interests of both men and women at all levels. Based on the existing evidence and emerging trends, this paper discusses the differentiated gendered impacts on outcomes across the three areas of endowments, economic security, and agency.
Fiifi Edu-Afful (PhD) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) with over ten years experience, authoring, teaching and facilitating on Conflict Peace and Security.
MARITIME [IN]SECURITY IN THE GULF OF GUINEA DURING AN ERA OF PANDEMICS
[ Prof. Kwesi Aning & Ruth Adwoa Fimpong]
This paper discusses the dynamic challenges posed by the unintended problems brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The paper argues that, Covid-19 and the attendant challenges to maritime security is creating new analytical challenges and conundrum in seeing pandemics as a key contemporary and recurrent challenge to maritime security. Pandemics, as a nontraditional maritime security threat, poses particular dangers and challenges to states. In examining the nature and scope of maritime insecurities in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), the paper discusses the underlying factors that fuel the perpetration of maritime crimes in the region and scrutinises the existing multiple response mechanisms
instituted by the international community, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and member states to counter and mitigate the adverse consequences of such crimes on human security in West Africa. Several questions guide the paper. To what extent has the pandemic contributed to and shaped the perpetration of maritime crimes in the GoG region and Ghana? and how have the existing international, regional and national instruments shaped responses
in the light of the pandemic? To locate the discussion within an empirical discourse, it assesses the efforts by the Ghana Navy (GN) in particular, first to prepare for potential challenges posed within the maritime space in Ghana’s territorial waters, and second, to respond to them. It concludes by offering recommendations on how best to navigate, counter and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Prof Kwesi Aning is the Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre
Ruth Adwoa Frimpong is a Research Assistant with the KAIPTC and currently serves as a security analyst intern with the Directorate of Early Warning in ECOWAS
MARITIME CRIMES AND INCIDENT REPORTING MECHANISMS UNDER THE YAOUNDE PROCESS: TOWARDS AN EFFECTIVE REPORTING SYSTEMS FOR THE GULF OF GUINEA
[ Frank O. Okyere & Afua A. Lamptey ]
The Gulf of Guinea (GoG) region presents a maritime seascape with a unique potential for maritime commerce and development. Stretching from Senegal in West Africa to Angola in Central Africa, the waters of the GoG is estimated to have enormous oil deposits, fisheries, and aquaculture. For instance it is estimated that excluding the Persian Gulf, one in every four barrels of oil sold comes from the Gulf of Guinea.Globally some of the most sought after fish species such as tuna, shrimp, sardinella, bonga, grouper, sole and octopus can be located in the region. Further, the large number of natural harbours, inexistence of chokepoints and good weather conditions makes it an ideal shipping route.The region’s rich maritime resources has attracted both state and non-state actors, some of whom exploit the inadequate control of the maritime domain to engage in illicit activity. Between 2016 and 2018, the littoral states in the Gulf of Guinea region…
Frank O. Okyere is the Head of the Peace Support Operations Programme at the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research (FAAR), Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).
Afua A. Lamptey is the Deputy Head of Programme on the Conflict Management Programme at the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research (FAAR), Koﬁ Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).
TOWARDS A “MODEL STATE ACTION AT SEA” FOR GULF OF GUINEA STATES
[John M. Pokoo, Shiela N. Tetteh & Kwesi Aning]
One of the models that guide the interventions of the state at sea along the Gulf of Guinea is often referred to as “state action at sea” (in French: action d’états de la mer). As the example from Cote d’Ivoire is illustrated below, this model takes the form of maritime domain awareness among relevant ministries and public agencies convened regularly at the highest possible level of decision making in a particular state. It consciously preserves the functional autonomy of the institutional actors involved. It does so by creating a platform that enables relevant ministries and agencies to brief the incumbent President or his/her representative (often the Prime Minister) so that other Ministries and relevant public agencies present also get to know about what is happening in the relevant agencies and Ministries…
John Mark Pokoo is Head, Conflict Management Programme in the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana and a PhD Candidate, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Shiela Naade Tetteh is a Research Assistant with the Conflict Management Programme at the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre. Shiela holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Chinese from the University of Ghana and a Master of Arts Degree in Conflict, Peace and Security from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre.
Prof. Kwesi Aning is the Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre.
MAPPING MARITIME ACTORS UNDER THE YAOUNDE PROTOCOL: ESTABLISHING MANDATES, INTERRELATIONSHIPS, GAPS AND PROSPECTS.
[Dr. Kwaku Danso & Serwaa Allotey-Pappoe ]
The Gulf of Guinea represents one of the most important maritime spaces in the world, however, its susceptibility to a multiplicity of threats which have become particularly pronounced since the first decade of the 21 Century, remains a constant security concern to both regional and external actors. The strategic significance of the region is evidenced by its rich deposits of hydrocarbons, mineral resources and rich variety of marine and aquatic resources. Also, the region is estimated to have 14,495 billion barrels of crude oil and gas reserves, which constitute a critical resource for accelerated economic grow and development. The Gulf of Guinea’s vast resource potentials however, co-exist with a myriad of maritime threats that rank prominently among the challenges confronting states and societies, as well as international shipping and commerce. Included among these are maritime piracy, armed robbery at sea, kidnapping for ransom, illegal oil bunkering and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing…
Dr. Kwaku Danso is a Research Fellow and Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC). Kwaku holds a Ph.D. in International Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, and an MSc in African Studies from the University of Edinburgh. His research interests revolve around maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, transitional and relational justice, DDR in conventional and non-permissive contexts, election-related violence, and security knowledge generation in postcolonial locales. Kwaku teaches and facilitates a number of courses at the KAIPTC, including International Relations, Research Methods, maritime security, and conflict prevention. Kwaku is a current Visiting Lecturer at Rhodes University. He previously served as an Instructor of Record at the Kennesaw State University. He has published a number of scholarly papers on peacekeeping in Africa , indigenous approaches to conflict transformation, elections in Ghana, and Ghana’s foreign and defence policies.
Serwaa Allotey-Pappoe is a Researcher with the Conflict Management Programme at the
Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC). Her research interests generally revolve around conflict, peace and security with specific focus on gender, mediation, negotiations and peace processes in West Africa. Her most recent projects include research and capacity development on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and violent extremism in West Africa and the Sahel. Serwaa holds a B.A. degree in Psychology with French from the University of Ghana and a Master of Arts degree (M.A.) in Gender, Peace and Security from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, with a specialization on women in UN peace support operations.