Overview of Relations
The UK's Financial Times reported that following the ousting of Ivorian Presdient Laurent Gbagbo in 2011 the environment in the region became more problematic, primarily because Ghana remained one of the Gbagbo regime's few allies almost until the Ivorian's arrest. This is reported to have caused an increase in tensions in the region.
Dispute over Maritime Border
In 2011 the government of the Ivory Coast under Allasane Ouattara publicly challenged Ghana's entitlement to offshore acreage at the Jubilee Field by proposing a redrawn maritime border between the two nations.
Ghana Web reported that US oil company Kosmos Energy had expressed fears about the escalating dispute, as the future of its interest in the deepwater Tano Block in the Gulf of Guinea remained uncertain, and fearing that it may stand to lose part of the license. At the time, Ghana was the rightful owner of the territory, however officials from the Ivory Coast petitioned the United Nations to make changes to the maritime boundary.
In December 2011 Ghana's Deputy Information Minister has commented that nothing would be done to derail the peaceful relations between the two countries as a result of the territorial dispute.
The Financial Times suggests that Ivorian President Alassane Outtara was using the oil border dispute to punish Ghanaian President John Atta Mills for supporting his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo when he refused to cede power following an election whose legitimacy was contested by international observers.
Diamond sanctions were imposed on the Cote d'Ivoire in 2006, and UN investigations have uncovered shortcomings in the implementation of internal controls due to smuggling of conflict diamonds from the country to Ghana. The investigation found that a company had re-registered in Ghana following the sanctions and continued to purchase Ivorian rough diamonds. According to reports by Conciliation Resources the market for Ghanaian diamonds also collapsed in 2007 because international diamond dealers feared they may be buying conflict diamonds, despite measures taken in Ghana such as a registry of unregistered miners and a database of rough diamond production.
- "FT suggests Ivory Coast using oil border dispute to punish Ghana for supporting ousted Gbagbo" Ghana Business News, 22 December 2011.
- "Ivory Coast Claims Ghana's Oil Fields" Ghana Web, 29 November 2011.
- "Ghana assures no war with Ivory Coast over oil rich borders" WADR, 12 December 2011.
- "Ivory Coast looks to play WAGP role" Upstream Online, 12 December 2011.
- "West African blood diamonds recognise no borders" Conciliation Resources, 12 December 2011.