pirates in africa

Piracy along Africa's Atlantic coast is threatening to raise costs for the vast amount of seaborne trade that passes through the region, as the activity spreads from Nigeria into the poorly-patrolled seas of nearby Togo and Benin.

The IMB said one trend is clear: As Nigeria's navy expands to confront hijackings and robberies, pirates are crossing into the less-patrolled waters of neighboring states, capitalizing on a burst of global sea trade with ports along West Africa's coast. Some 41% of the world's trade, worth $3.2 trillion a year, "touches Africa in some way," according to an internal U.S. Navy policy document. That includes more than half the oil loaded onto ships the world over.

80% global commerce is transported by sea, as it is the most efficient and cost-effective manner of cargo travel. The threat of piracy places an undue burden on the global market. While it does not pose a direct threat to U.S. vital national interests, piracy hinders global commerce—on which national security and prosperity depend. The United States imports more oil from Nigeria than from any other African country (25 percent of U.S. oil imports by 2015) and is Abuja’s second largest trading partner overall. Additionally, West African countries lose nearly $1 billion in oil annually due to piracy