The GI WACAF Project was launched in 2006 in a shared desire to strengthen the oil spill preparedness and response capabilities of 22 African countries in West, Central and Southern Africa in accordance with the provisions set out in International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC 1990). The OPRC Convention promotes industry-government cooperation and encourages them to work together to address core elements of effective preparedness and response to oil spills.
GI WACAF is a cooperation between IMO, the International Maritime Organization, the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for safety, and security of shipping and protection of the marine environment – and IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for advancing environmental and social performance, set up in the frame of the Global Initiative programme.
Launched in South Africa in 1996, the Global Initiative (GI) is a programme through which the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and IPIECA, work together to encourage and facilitate the improvement of global oil spill preparedness and response capabilities.
As a follow-up to several technical missions held in the West, Central and Southern Africa region, IMO and IPIECA recognized the value of having a planned regional approach financed with the support of the oil industry. Early in 2005, IMO and IPIECA expressed interest in joining forces to develop a project for this region, for an initial period of two years. Further discussions and developments led to the establishment in 2006 of the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF).