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Oil and Security in the Gulf of Guinea: Reflections on the External and Domestic Linkages

DOI: 10.5539/jsd.v5n4p132

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The age-long significance of the West African Sub-region to global commerce or economy is not dwindling and, by all appearances, will not even in the distant future irrespective of shocks in the price of oil. Retrospectively, the region was key to European search for economic opportunities in both the pre-colonial and colonial eras as it provided the haven of resources needed for industrialization in Europe. A great number of slaves shipped from Africa to the New World were also taken from the region because of the advantage of huge oceanic freeway. Now, amidst threats of energy insecurity due to crisis in the Persian Gulf and increasing concern for securing reliable source of supply by oil importing countries, especially by the US, the Gulf of Guinea has come to the fore once more as a region with great potential for providing a significant part of the answer for emerging fears of global energy insecurity. This paper seeks to explain this role on the part of the Gulf Guinea in the context of external and domestic linkages to security and oil conflict in the region. The paper argues that quest for energy security and failure by oil importing countries to seek alternative energy sources breed insecurity for oil exporting countries. We suggest an explanation on how this operates, especially in relation to the mode of governance of the oil by national leaders, multilateral institutions and multinational oil companies in the case of Nigeria’s delta region.


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