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Oil and gas discoveries have served as a foundation for economic prosperity in many countries around the world. Yet the catastrophes experienced by some countries - especially in Africa south of the Sahara - despite the discovery of vast natural hydrocarbon deposits should not be ignored. The development of new oil and gas fields has placed the Gulf of Guinea at the centre of a nexus of greed on the part of foreign powers, Big Oil corporations and criminal groups. The Gulf of Guinea has become a theatre where rivalries to play out between developed countries seeking to control the energy resources of the region, which holds a quarter of Africa's gas resources. It is also the new global epicentre of piracy and maritime criminality, ahead of the Gulf of Aden.
Amadou Tidiane Cissé is a Senior Customs Inspector currently serving at the Directorate General of Customs of Senegal. He is the author of the book Terrorism Beyond Borders: New Challenges for Customs Cooperation on Security in the Sahel (Dakar: L'Harmattan Sénégal, 2021).