Piracy has been a growing problem in recent years in the Gulf of Guinea. However, unlike Somalia and Southeast Asia, this issue fails to attract much attention from the outside world. The region is now the second most exposed to pirate attacks according to the International Maritime Organization. The number of attacks increased by nearly 50% between 2011 and 2012 and is set to be even higher in 2013.
The Gulf of Guinea is well known for its abundant oil and gas deposits, which allow surrounding countries such as Nigeria, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea to generate significant wealth. However, governance issues and widespread corruption have led to an unfair distribution of energy income (as well as other negative externalities such as pollution), and have hampered development and fueled piracy.