|Norway to help African countries control coastal resources|
| [21.09.2010, 03:10pm, Tue. GMT]|
|Norway will help six African countries gain control of the oil and gas resources located off their coastal borders. According to an agreement to be signed in New York Tuesday, Norway will provide assistance to six countries -- Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal -- in setting up of their continental shelves in the seabed of the region.Establishing the limits of the continental shelf is crucial as this determines who can exploit resources such as oil and gas, Norway's foreign ministry said in a statement.|
'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, Norway's Minister of the Environment and International Development.
These countries have also agreed to cooperate with each other in determining the outer limit of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.
'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,' Solheim was quoted as saying in the statement.
'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,' he said.