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Cycle #ÁfricaEsNoticia | Conference 1: Security at sea in the Gulf of Guinea

This is the first of the four online seminars* which Casa África is organising on different topics related to western Africa and Sahel, led by experts and some of  the involved parties.

The objective of these meetings is twofold:

  1. to increase understanding in Spain of various aspects related to security in the region, which is of prime concern for our country,
  2. to generate a space which will provide a voice for both Spanish and African experts, and as a result, generate contact networks and mutual understanding.

80% of world trade is transported by sea, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This means that pirate attacks represent a serious geographical and strategic threat. An example of this is their effect on the economy: in the Gulf of Guinea alone, the cost was 818.1 million US dollars, as shown in the report by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC). This figure reflects the international significance of this topic, and contrasts with how little it is mentioned in the news.

The number of ships hijacked reached climax point in 2010, and by 2019 the figures had not been reduced. However, the economic havoc provoked by COVID-19 has led to a 24 % increase in pirate attacks. During 2020, according to the report published by the International Maritime Board (IMB), 195 attacks were perpetrated worldwide, and it is estimated that 90% of the incidents involving the kidnapping of crew members took place in the waters round the Gulf of Guinea. This justifies the work carried out by operations such as Atalanta which, despite the good results, highlight the need for greater caution in the area.

For these reasons and many others, the first conference in the cycle will discuss safety at sea in the Gulf of Guinea and the following speakers will participate:

  • Lydelle Joubert. Expert in world piracy and the efforts made to fight against it.
  • Tarila Marclint Ebiede. Doctor in Analysis and Assistant Professor of International Affairs at the Brussels School of Governance (Belgium).
  • Fernando Ibáñez. Analyst and Doctor in Conflicts, Security and Solidarity, Master's Degree in Global Security and Defence.
  • Vice Admiral Juan L. Sobrino, Chief of the Maritime Operations Unit. Vice Admiral, Diploma in Naval Warfare (Chief of Staff).
  • Ramón Abaroa. Ambassador to the Special Mission on Maritime Safety, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Co-operation.

We will be able to listen to this talk by the experts on Thursday 6th May, 2021 from 6 p.m. (Madrid time) via the Casa África social network: LinkedinFacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

*This activity has received a grant from the Ministry of Defence.


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