Addis Ababa, 15 September 2015
“Formalizing the relations between the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) and the Commission of the African Union (AUC) is the main objective of today’s visit” said Ambassador Florentine Adenike Ukonga, Executive Secretary of the Commission of the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) during her meeting with Ambassador Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Deputy Chief of Staff of the AUC, on behalf of the Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
Ambassador Ukonga brought a copy of her organization’s Treaty to the Commission. She also emphasized the importance of strengthening the collaboration between both institutions for the well being of Africans.
Two issues were raised during the meeting: The cooperation on maritime and blue economy issues, and the formalization of the relationship between the Commission and the Gulf of Guinea Commission, within the ambit of the GGC Treaty and the AU African Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050 (2050 AIM).
Ambassador Febe gave an overview of Agenda 2063 and the 2050 AIM Strategy, which focuses on Africa taking charge of all its natural resources, including its oceanic resources, to build shared prosperity for the continent and its citizens. She also pointed out that both programmes will involve partners – private sector, regional organisations, and government – in the ownership and in the implementation aspects.
The meeting discussed the challenges in the maritime domain such as the degradation of the natural environment, the illegal fishing and the impact on coastal livelihoods and nutrition, the oil and gas exploration and exploitation; and the protection of the maritime environment, as well the negative impact on the people and the nature. It stressed the importance of African solutions and cooperation to these continental challenges.
Mr Samuel Kamé-Domguia, coordinator of the 2050 Aim Strategy taskforce who attended the meeting expressed the personal involvement of Ambassador Ukonga in the elaboration of the 2050 AIM Strategy document. He encouraged this collaboration, which he said would be continuously fruitful. He also suggested that the maritime code of conduct signed/ratified by ECOWAS and ECCAS is a good example, and consideration should be given to its adoption by all AU members States.
The participants agreed on taking to their respective institutions, recommendations on taking the cooperation forward, for the benefit of the continent and for the success of Agenda 2063.