- NJ Ayuk says African countries should resort to diplomatic solutions to overcome territorial differences
- Out of 100 boundaries covered under the Law of the Sea of Africa, just a third of them are agreed
- Negotiating agreements could unlock a wealth of natural resources
During the Africa Oil & Power conference held in Cape Town, Centurion CEO NJ Ayuk said that strong leadership and political will were the only way that African countries could resolve the great number of simmering border disputes taking place around the continent. Out of 100 boundaries covered under the Law of the Sea of Africa, just a third of them are agreed. As a panelist on the Policy & Law discussion at the conference, Mr. Ayuk advocated strongly for a diplomatic approach to resolving the disputes.
“We have to admit that the status quo is not working. But when you are dealing with national sovereignty issues, things get very emotional,” Ayuk said. “It will be very difficult to solve but military might is not the answer.”
Centurion Law Group is the Legal Partner of the Africa Oil & Power conference, which took place June 6-7, 2016 in Cape Town. Mr. Ayuk has been an impassioned advocate for negotiating a conclusion to territorial disputes, arguing that it could unlock a vast wealth of unexplored natural resources. Mr. Ayuk said, however, that it was the specter of that resource value that was contributing to the stalemate.
“You never see two people quarrel over fishing rights,” Ayuk said. “But when oil and gas are factored, the stakes are much higher.”