Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea still remains of great concern to countries in West and Central Africa, with the worst affected countries being Nigeria, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire. In 2013 for example, out of 47 cases of piracy 29 took place off the coast of Nigeria alone. Six ships were hijacked but subsequently released. The Organization also recorded 62 attacks on ships in West and Central Africa in 2011 and 60 in 2012. Since 2002, 610 attacks occurred in the region (Source IMO). This highlights the need for a cooperative regional maritime strategy which UNOWA has been supporting through its political leverage and experts contributions as well.
The UN Resolutions 2018 (2011) and 2039 (2012) encourage States of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC), through concerted action, to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea in conducting bilateral or regional maritime patrols consistent with relevant international law and to develop and implement national and regional maritime security strategies. UNOWA, in partnership with UNOCA, has been supporting ECOWAS, ECCAS and the GGC’s efforts toward the development and the adoption of a comprehensive Joint Regional maritime Strategy to effectively fight piracy and related transnational criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea . The mechanisms includes the Annual meetings of the Chiefs of Institutions of ECCAS, ECOWAS and GGC and the Inter-regional Coordination Centre (ICC) to be located in Cameroon.