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Despite the relevance the Gulf of Guinea (Gog) bears for the international system, opinions
varies as to the exact composition of the region. The geo-political entity known as the gulf of
guinea, according to Merz and Yates consist of seven countries along the south Atlantic ocean,
namely Nigeria, Cameroun, Equatorial guinea, Sao tome & Principe, Gabon, Angola and Congo
Brazzaville‖ However, the Gulf of Guinea region faces several destabilizing factors and a
challenging security environment which include narcotics trafficking from South America,
smuggling of illegal aliens into Europe, irregular migrations, about $1 Billion a year in illegal
fishing and pollution that threatens the coast and local food supply among others. Fisheries
protection, drug smuggling, harbor security, and piracy undermine other commercial interests
and scare away foreign investment. The global economy is experiencing tremendous changes
with anticipated spillover effects on the Gulf of Guinea. Indeed, given the current political
climate in the Middle East, which has disruptive effects on oil prices and causes shifts in the
structure of oil demand, coupled with robust economic growth in China, the Gulf of Guinea is
expected to occupy a more important place in U.S. The United States are paying increasing
attention to the Gulf of Guinea. For instance, it is expected that the United States will invest
more than $10 billion a year in the region over the next 10 years in oil activities; oceanic
research in the deep-sea waters of Equatorial Guinea and Angola; the restoration and
preservation of the forests of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, DRC, Cameroon,
and CAR; the implementation of a training framework for African peace-keeping forces; and
discrete political interventions. This interest is driven by the United States‘ desire to diversify
their sources of energy supply so as to reduce the risks associated with high dependence on
Middle Eastern oil and to outdo the growing influence of china in the gulf of guinea. The
production of oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Guinea has the potential to fulfill the United
States‘ and Europe‘s excess demand for energy. The Gulf of Guinea bears numerous advantages
for Western countries. Also the gulf is faced with major issues that has affected the growth of the
region ranging from maritime piracy, oil bunkering, trafficking, narcotics, illegal fishing just to
mention a few are all major issues faced in the region
The Gulf of Guinea has assumed the epicenter of global scramble for natural resources
particularly the oil and gas resources. In view of the existing literature claim that the deepening
of extra regional interest and presence particularly of the US and China in the region would lead
to serious development. Beyond the development that the neo-scramble is acclaimed to bring to
the zone are the unfolding negative attendants of the extra-regional scramble. In this vain,
therefore this study while seeking to grapple issues with extant literature, explains the hidden
transcripts of the activities of the two leading extra –territorial powers within the region.
The following questions are apt in understanding the unfolding geopolitics in the gulf of guinea
1. What factors necessitate the growing extra-regional scramble for space within the gulf of
2. What security imperatives are involved in the scramble for the gulf of guinea by the two
leading powers?
3. How would the geopolitical tussle by the two powers impact on Nigeria‘s security.
Broad Objective
The broad objective of this study is to investigate the connection between the neo-scramble
particularly between the US and China for the gulf of guinea and Nigeria‘s alternative national
security interests.
Specific objectives
1. Examine growing relevance of the gulf of guinea to national and global security.
2. Identify the complex security issues relating to American presence and interests in
the gulf of guinea.
3. Analyze the implications of the security issues engendered by the convergence of
US and China interests in the region for Nigeria.
Granted the relevance of the topic, the study is of importance to researchers in the field of
international relations, international politics and international security. More so, the suggestions
made in this study prove relevance if it would be adopted by the Nigerian government in
guarding against the unfounded advances of both the US and China especially when Nigeria is a
power curb in the gulf of guinea region.
Geopolitics: the study or the application of the influence of political and economic geography on
the politics, national power foreign policy etc of a state. The combination of the geographic and
political factors influencing or delineating a country of region. Geopolitics traditionally studies
the link between political power and geographic space, and examines strategic prescriptions
based on the relative importance of land power and sea power in history.
National security: It is a concept that a government, along with its parliaments, should protect
the state and its citizens against all kind of ―national‖ crisis through a variety of power
projections, such as political power, economic power, diplomacy, military might. Arnold wolfers
(1960) defines national security ―An ambiguous symbol meaning different things to different
people. National security objectively means the absence of threats to acquired values and
subjectively, absence of fear that such values will be attacked‖
Maritime piracy: According to the UN. Convention on the law of the sea (UNCLOS) it says
that piracy consist of the following
a) Any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private
ends by the crew or the passengers of private ship or private aircraft, and directed:
i) On the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on
board ship or aircraft
ii) Against a ship, aircraft ,persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any
b) Any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with
knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;
c) Any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) (b)
This study is going to cover the region of gulf of guinea. Given the relevance of the topic to the
Nigeria‘s security, one is taken aback to find out that some of those that should be hub of
knowledge on the topic barely know little or nothing about it. More than this, the secretive nature
perhaps because of their training of naval operatives equally serves as a serious limitation to the
study. However, these limitations are taken care of by the adoptation of data gathered at the
library at NIIA


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