Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire have initiated processes aimed at implementing the ruling by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the maritime boundary, by depositing the coordinates of the line so defined with the relevant bodies of the United Nations.
To this end, the 16-Member Implementation Committee constituted by Ghana and chaired by the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, to oversee the implementation process visited Cote d'Ivoire from May 14 to 15, 2018.
Their mission was to inform the Ivorian counterparts of Ghana's intention to officially deposit the coordinates given by the Special Chamber of ITLOS with the relevant agencies of the United Nations.
The delegation included the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Gloria Afua Akuffo, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy, Mr Lawrence Apaalse, Rear Admiral Beick-Baffour of the Ghana Armed Forces (Navy).
Others were Mr. Richard Addo-Darko and Nana Adusei Poku of GNPC, Mr. Francis Ackah of Petroleum Commission and Mr. Isaac Larbi of the Survey and Mapping Division.
A statement issued by the Office of the Senior Minister said at the end of the two-day meeting, a joint communique was issued by the parties to continue working together towards the implementation of the ITLOS ruling and to continue further engagements within the context of the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) signed between Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire on October 17, 2017.
The statement was signed by Mr Richard Addo Darko, Secretary to the 16-Member Implementation Committee.
It explained: “The implementation stage is very critical as it will assure the investor community of the security of their investment and ensure that oil concession blocks can be given right up to the line.
“It will attract the Majors and Super Majors to our deepwater environment to help make new discoveries that will increase Ghana's oil output, and ultimately, revenue for our national development.”
“We aim to lay down procedures for optimizing exploitation of any future discovered resources that may straddle the boundary, i.e. ground rules for transboundary resource management.
“Such cooperation could also lead to the harmonization of our fiscal and regulatory regimes to optimize Government Take in these capital-intensive investment environments," the statement added.
Beside the seabed resources, this cooperation if well implemented will enhance maritime security, especially in the areas of illicit bunkering, piracy and hot pursuit as well as ensure the safety and peaceful co-existence of our fisherfolks, it said.
The delegation took the opportunity to revisit the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) signed by the two Heads of State on October 17, 2017, and reaffirmed the commitment of the two Governments to cooperate in the area of exploitation and utilisation of maritime resources.