Third Extraordinary Session of The GGC
The Third Extra-Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC), under the leadership of H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana, and Chairperson of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, convened in Accra, Ghana, on 25th April, 2023, to swear-in the new Executives of the GGC.
Under the theme, “Building a Safe, Secure and Prosperous Gulf of Guinea Region for Sustainable Development” the meeting further discussed the burgeoning issues and strategies for strengthening peace, security and the fight against maritime-related crimes in the region, as well as, the expansion of the membership of the Commission to include the 19 Coastal States of the geopolitical Gulf of Guinea.
Present at the Third Extraordinary Session were the following Heads of State and Government and duly mandated representatives:
- H. E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea;
- H. E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
- H. E. Mrs. Rose Chritiane Ossouka Raponda, Vice President of the Gabonese Republic;
- Prof. Dr. Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, Speaker of Senate of the Democratic Republic of Congo;
- H. E. Charles Richard Mondjo, Minister for Defence of the Republic of Congo Brazzaville;
- H. E. Alberto Pereira Neto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe; and
- H. E. Diamantino Pedro de Azevedo, Minister for Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas of the Republic of Angola.
Also present were the under listed Officials of the Secretariat of the Gulf of Guinea Commission:
- H. E. Mrs. Florentina Adenike Ukonga, Outgoing Executive Secretary;
- Mr. Jose Mba Abeso, Incoming Executive Secretary;
- Amb. Obinna Chukwuemeka Agbugba, Deputy Executive Secretary (Political Affairs);
- Mr. Venancio Soares Gomes, Deputy Executive Secretary (Natural Resources); and
- Mr. Emmanuel Dudu Addo, Director of Administration.
In her opening remarks, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, in her capacity as the Chairperson for the Council of Ministers of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, welcomed participants to Ghana, and the seat of Government in Accra. The Hon. Minister underscored the relevance of the meeting, in light of the frequent crimes at sea, the prevalence of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing in our waters, the increasing incidence of smuggling, oil theft, pipeline vandalism, trafficking, and maritime terrorism that continue to pose significant threats to the economic benefit of Countries along of the Gulf of Guinea Coast.
Delivering the keynote address, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, noted that the meeting, which was the first in-person session of the Commission since 2019, was to make-up for the real and rare opportunities for frank and more meaningful exchange of views towards finding solutions to the many problems of the African continent, especially, the Gulf of Guinea Region.
He affirmed the urgent need for collective commitment towards addressing maritime security issues to build a safe, secure and prosperous Gulf of Guinea Region for sustainable development. He therefore implored Member States of the GGC to show more commitment at the highest level, in the affairs of the Commission by honouring their political and financial obligations, as well as, participating in statutory meetings at the highest and appropriate levels.
The President also mentioned the possibility of an expansion of the Commission to include all the 19 coastal states in the Gulf of Guinea Region, from Cabo Verde to Angola and highlighted the importance of the amendment of the Treaty establishing the Commission in this regard.
The President of the Republic of Ghana and Chairperson of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, swore-in the following in-coming Members of the Executive Secretariat, as decided at the 5th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Gulf of Guinea Commission in Nigeria on 13th October, 2022:
- Mr. Jose MBA ABESO, Executive Secretary
- Mr. Obinna Chukwuemeka AGBUGBA, Deputy Executive Secretary Political Affairs;
- Mr. Venancio Soares GOMES, Deputy Executive Secretary Natural Resources;
- Mr. Emmanuel BUDU ADDO, Director Administration