Energy Policy Think Tank, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), is confident the recent judgment by the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) will boost investment opportunities in the oil sector for Ghana.
According to its Executive Director, Ben Boakye, West African countries must take the matter of demarcating their boundaries seriously to avert negative consequences on their economies.
Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Boakye said disputes over maritime boundaries tend to deter investors who fear they may lose their investments if an unfavorable decision is taken after their dispute.
His comment comes after Ghana won a 3-year-long maritime dispute with its Western neighbours, Ivory Coast in a case where the country could have lost major oil blocs.
“It is important that countries sign documents and define their borders clearly so that some of these conflicts do not arise. So they are not occasioned when there are discoveries of mineral resources in between countries. That also helps to improve the investment climate because if there are conflicts along borders, you don’t get anybody interested in putting in money. If there is clarity on the borders, that attracts investment,” Ben Boakye said.
He said the West African countries must document their boundaries at the International level, to avoid further conflicts.
Ghana wins ITLOS case
The Special Chamber in a unanimous decision on Saturday September 23, 2017, ruled that there has not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Côte d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary.
It rejected Côte d’Ivoire’s argument that Ghana’s coastal lines were unstable, noting that Ghana has not violated Côte d’Ivoire’s sovereign rights with its oil exploration in the disputed basin.
Justice Boualem Bouguetaia, President of the Special Chamber in reading the judgment, accepted Ghana’s argument of adoption of the equidistance method of delineation of the maritime boundary.