Africa advised to prioritise signing boundary agreements

ACCRA. – The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) on Monday said the boundary dispute between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire serves as a wake-up call for African countries to properly define, document and sign boundary agreements, most of which were inherited from the colonial era, to prevent future disputes.

In a release issued by its Executive Director Benjamin Boakye, the Accra-based energy policy think tank said the clarity on boundary delimitation provides certainty and could improve investment attraction. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) last Saturday rejected Cote d’Ivoire’s claims that Ghana had infringed its sovereign boundary in oil exploration within a disputed zone.

The Hamburg-based tribunal prescribed new coordinates for the demarcation of the maritime boundary between the two West African countries. According to ACEP, given the discoveries that have been made on both sides of the border, there is the possibility of future discoveries that could straddle both countries which may require joint field development and operation.

“The joint agreement by both parties to be bound by the decision of the ITLOS, which is highly commendable, is a step in the right direction towards peaceful co-existence between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire which is necessary for possible future partnerships in the upstream oil and gas sector,” read the release.

Meanwhile, the Ghanaian government has been urged to ensure the delimitation of the country’s border boundary with neighboring Togo to avert future dispute. Former Attorney General Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, who was part of the Ghanaian team that chalked the historic feat in Germany last Saturday, said a definite resolution of the Togo-border boundary will save Ghana the experience it went through with the four-year-old maritime dispute with Cote d’Ivoire.

The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) also called on the government to take proactive steps to safeguard Ghana’s maritime boundary with Togo to forestall any boundary dispute between the two countries in the future. – Xinhua.

September 2017
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