Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) launched its West African Piracy project in 2012 to help address the continuing piracy challenge centered on the Gulf of Guinea. The OBP staff has utilized lessons learned from OBP’s engagement on Somali piracy to better comprehend the unique challenges related to maritime crime in West Africa.
OBP has been working toward this goal by bringing together a wide range of stakeholders affected by maritime piracy and armed robbery in the region. This process has contributed to a greater understanding of the issues related to maritime crime in West Africa and has resulted in the following initiatives:
- Convening of working group meetings to further multi-stakeholder engagement to advance sustainable solutions to maritime crime in West Africa.
- The publication of The Human Cost of Maritime Piracy 2012 report, which included an analysis of the maritime crime in the Gulf Of Guinea region.
- Development of the web-based G8++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea Maritime Capacity Building Platform to coordinate capacity building efforts in those nations who have committed to the Gulf of Guinea Code of Conduct in West Africa.
- Hiring of two experts to exclusively work on OBP West Africa initiatives.
- Participation in the design of content for the Yaoundé summit on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea held on 24-25, June 2013.
Going forward, Oceans Beyond Piracy will continue to focus on a multi-stakeholder approach to building maritime safety and security capacity in the Gulf of Guinea region. Through engagement with relevant experts from governments, industry, NGOs and civil society, OBP will work to provide support to the international community and regional countries in developing sustainable solutions to the challenges facing West Africa, and help bring an end to contemporary maritime crime in the region.