The Gulf of Guinea Commission
Headquartered in Luanda, Angola, the Gulf of Guinea Commission is an international body that was established by a Treaty signed in Libreville, Gabon, on 3 July 2001. Member States of the Commission comprise the Republic of Angola, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Cameroon, the Gabonese Republic, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe.
The Commission constitutes a framework of consultation among the countries of the Gulf of Guinea for cooperation and development, as well as for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts that may arise from the delimitation of borders and the economic and commercial exploitation of natural resources within the territorial boundaries, particularly in the overlapping Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of member States. It constitutes a permanent institutional framework for cooperation amongst the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea in order to defend their common interest and promote peace and socio-economic development on the basis of dialogue, consensus, ties of friendship, solidarity and fraternity.
The objectives of the Commission, among others, include:
- To strengthen ties of cooperation and solidarity existing among member States;
- To create conditions of mutual confidence, peace and security conducive to the harmonious development of States;
- To promote close consultation in the exploitation of the natural resources of the Gulf, with a view to ensuring the economic development of Member States and the well-being of their peoples;
- To promote sectoral co-operation within the framework of the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community and the African Union and thereby contribute to the development of the continent;
- To harmonize the respective policies of States regarding matters of common interest, particularly concerning the exploitation of natural resources;
- To protect, preserve and improve the natural environment of the Gulf of Guinea and cooperate in the event of natural disaster;
- To formulate a concerted immigration policy and find appropriate solutions to the problem which might arise there from;
- To strengthen cooperation in the areas of communications maritime especially, with a view to facilitating ties and trade among Member States and peoples;
- To this end, develop a wide communications network and ensure the integration of transport networks.
The overarching objective of the cooperation among the States of the Gulf of Guinea region is the transformation of the sub-region into a Zone of Peace, Security and Sustainable Development.
Membership of Gulf of Guinea Commission is open to other states in the Gulf of Guinea region, including, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Liberia and Sierra Leone, for purposes of transforming the sub region into a Zone of Peace and Security.
The Gulf of Guinea Commission began operations in March 2007, with the establishment of its Executive Secretariat in Luanda, Angola. The current Executive Secretary is Mr. Jose MBA ABESO. Other members of the Secretariat are: Mr. Obinna Chukwuemeka AGBUGBA, Deputy Executive Secretary Political Affairs; Mr. Venancio Soares GOMES, Deputy Executive Secretary Natural Resources; and Mr. Emmanuel BUDU ADDO, Director Administration