Ministers from Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal also took part in the event.
"We are seeking to ensure that countries in Africa have control over the resources in their own sea areas. This is an important contribution to the fight against poverty. We are delighted that these countries will now have better opportunities for development,” said Erik Solheim, Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development.
Establishing the limits of the continental shelf is crucial as this determines who can exploit resources such as oil and gas. Under the agreement, Norway will provide assistance to Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal in connection with the establishment of these countries’ continental shelves. These countries have in turn committed themselves to cooperating with one another. It is the outer limit of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles that is to be established.
“Agreement on the outer limit of the continental shelf will also increase the likelihood of cooperation between these countries in a vulnerable region that has been affected by war and terrible suffering,” said Mr Solheim.
“Under the law of the sea, Norway gained control of its own seabed. Norway has valuable experience for countries in Africa, and is now in a position to help them to establish control of their own oil and gas resources,” said Mr Solheim.
Hans Wilhelm Longva has led the Norwegian efforts in this impressive work that will help several African countries to secure jurisdiction over their own natural resources.