In 2017, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruled in favor of Ghana in a maritime boundary dispute with its neighbor, Cote d’Ivoire. The dispute centered around the exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves in the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. Despite the ruling, Ghana’s bilateral ties with Cote d’Ivoire remain strong, according to President Nana Akufo-Addo.
The ruling awarded Ghana all of its claimed maritime territory, including the oil and gas fields of Tweneboa, Enyenra, and Ntomme (TEN), which are estimated to hold two billion barrels of oil and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The disputed area spanned over 9,000 square nautical miles of sea and seabed.
Ghana’s technical team and legal advisors played a crucial role in ensuring that the nation’s western maritime resources, including its oil and gas potential, rightfully remained in its possession. The ruling upheld the boundary line claimed by Ghana, which followed an equidistance line and rejected that proposed by Cote d’Ivoire.
The ITLOS ruling was widely followed due to the abundant oil and gas resources in the Gulf of Guinea off the southern coast of the two neighboring African States. The ruling has given Ghana a significant advantage in the exploitation of its natural resources, which will undoubtedly benefit its economy.
Despite the maritime boundary dispute outcome that favored Ghana, President Nana Akufo-Addo has affirmed that the bilateral ties with Cote d’Ivoire remain intact, and the two countries have a strategic partnership. They will continue to work together in sustaining the long-standing cooperation for the common good and the interest of their people.
In conclusion, the ITLOS ruling in favor of Ghana has given the country a significant advantage in the exploitation of its natural resources, which will undoubtedly benefit its economy. Despite the dispute, Ghana’s bilateral ties with Cote d’Ivoire remain strong, which is crucial for the two countries’ mutual benefit.