President John Mahama has put in an official request to the Gulf of Guinea Commission to be a full time member.
Since the establishment of the Commission, Ghana has over the years been invited as an observer. However, President Mahama at the meeting of the commission to discuss Maritime Security announced in a closed door meeting with other colleague heads of state that Ghana wishes to be a permanent member.
The request comes in the wake of imminent security challenges that the Gulf region faces such as piracy, drug trafficking and gun running amongst others.
The President in requesting Ghana’s membership called for consensus building among member countries to enable a coordinated fight against maritime insecurity.
The Gulf Region is known to be endowed with oil resources amongst others, a situation which also poses security challenges.
Countries bordering the Gulf of guinea thus decided to come together at a summit in Equatorial Guinea to discuss ways of collaborating on maritime security.
Although Ghana’s President John Mahama was invited as a guest, he took the opportunity in a closed session, to request Ghana’s membership of the group.
The meeting involved high powered delegations from countries invited, headed by their various presidents.
Interior Minister, Kwesi Ahwoi who joined the President at the Meeting, confirmed Ghana’s intention as expressed by the President.
Mr. Ahwoi further explains why Ghana is seeking to join the group at this time and explains that the meeting in Malabo tabled proposals for member countries to harmonize their maritime law for easy facilitation of efforts.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Defence Mark Woyongo who also participated in the summit says the Ghana Armed Forces are prepared for the challenge ahead of joining the Commission.
He was optimistic that shared experiences would enhance the efforts of the member countries in ensuring security along the Gulf of Guinea.