Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Equatorial Guinea Participates In Obangame Express

The Government of Equatorial Guinea joined maritime forces from Gulf of Guinea nations, Europe, South America, and the United States, and several regional and international organizations at the Obangame Express 2015 exercise to learn collaborative opportunities that address maritime security concerns.

Equatorial Guinea’s exclusive maritime economic zone is ten times larger than its landmass, with vast potential for fisheries. The Government recognizes the strategic importance of promoting safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea region -- for stakeholders, multinational oil and gas companies, and surrounding oil producing nations.

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo called on the Gulf of Guinea heads of state to maintain stronger vigilance and create a maritime security body in order to overcome security and stability issues affecting the zone and for closer relations with international organizations to face the challenges affecting the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) during the third Summit of Heads of State of the GGC.

“Having a strong and effective Gulf of Guinea Commission is the only alternative for our region to overcome the problems it currently faces, to ensure the welfare of their people, peace and security in the maritime and land zones of the Gulf of Guinea,” said President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

Obangame Express is a U.S. Africa Command-sponsored multinational maritime exercise aimed to increase maritime safety and security, improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness (MDA), information-sharing practices, and tactical interdiction expertise to enhance the collective capabilities of Gulf of Guinea nations to counter sea-based illicit activity.

Equatorial Guinea's Maritime Security Enhancement Program, launched several years ago, is designed to provide nationwide coastal surveillance coverage and long-term stability for the entire region. It is a part of Equatorial Guinea's commitment to contributing to the positive development and security in its part of West Africa.

This year’s participating nations in Obangame Express 2015 included Angola, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome & Principe, Spain, Togo, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). The exercise was held in Ghana on March 19-27.