A new association supported by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), called Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA), has been launched for women in the maritime sector.
This was announced at a conference in Ghana that was streamed to a global audience, according to a statement.
The WIMOWCA Interim President, Sylvia Owu, said, “The objective of WIMOWCA is to harness the potential and contribution of women in West and Central Africa to ensure the sustainable development of the maritime industry in Africa.
“Women, as you are all aware, form over 51 per cent of the world population and the same is true for Africa, as such they cannot be left out in any global effort to confront the challenges we face today in the global maritime industry.
“Sustainable maritime development would require inclusive participation of all, men and women, if we are to succeed in our endeavour in that regard.”
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, “For sustainability and success in the modern world, shipping needs diversity in the workforce and we need women to drive the decision-making processes.
“We are on the right path and progress has been made. However much still needs to be done to help the maritime industry progress toward gender equality. WIMOWCA is a welcome addition to the global network of WIMAs.
“This special event provides a unique opportunity to discuss and celebrate two topics: women in the maritime community, and Africa as a maritime continent.”
According to the statement, seven other WIMAs have already been established across Africa, Arab States, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific, supported by IMO’s long-running Women in Maritime gender programme.
It said individuals joining the newest WIMA, which would focus on Anglophone West and Central Africa, would have access to similar collaborative and networking opportunities and access to IMO-sponsored training.