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Gauging Maritime Security in West and Central Africa

The Yaoundé Architecture is a critical piece of the maritime security picture in West and Central Africa, resulting from the regionally-led Code of Conduct Concerning the Repressing of Piracy, Armed Robbery against Ships, and illicit Maritime Activity in West and Central Africa, also known as the Yaoundé Code of Conduct. The Yaoundé Code of Conduct, developed and originally signed by West and Central African nations in 2013, laid out a maritime security framework prioritizing cooperation and information-sharing across the region. The intent of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct is to assist the region in addressing an array of maritime crimes affecting the region, including piracy and armed robbery at sea, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, maritime terrorism, trafficking in narcotics and wildlife products, and maritime pollution.


To enable the implementation of the Yaoundé Code, two regional information-sharing centers were developed: The Regional Centre for Maritime Security in Central Africa (CRESMAC) based in Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo, which assists the countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) as well as The Regional Coordination Centre for Maritime Security in West Africa (CRESMAO), based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, which serves the countries of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS.) Coordinating both information-sharing centers is the Interregional Coordination Centre in Yaoundé, Cameroon.


The signatory states of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct represent a diverse bloc of states, despite their close geographic proximity: some states have thriving coastal economies thanks to a wealth of natural resources, while others remain underdeveloped. One of the strongest navies on the continent calls the Gulf of Guinea region home, while other governments have had to think creatively about how to enhance security in maritime domains.


This report serves as a tool for signatories of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct to track their progress against nine measures of maritime security and governance.


Click here to download the report.

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This content was created when Stable Seas was a program of One Earth Future.