The Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation, Kitack Lim has inaugurated the Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA), the newest IMO regional association for women in the maritime sector.
Attended by a plethora of industry players, the semi-virtual inaugural ceremony and conference held in Accra, at the Shippers’ House also saw the swearing-in of the association’s executives.
Key among the discussions held was the topical Maritime Insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, where various resource persons across the subcontinent made presentations on its impact on shipping, challenges, and the way forward.
The IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, expressed his organization’s support for springing women’s associations in order to ensure that the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 for gender equality and women empowerment is attained.
He disclosed that the IMO “recently awarded fellowships to nearly 50 women to take maritime courses in Le Havre, France and Galilee in Israel with a priority given to female officials from Africa, small island developing states and the least developing countries.”
The Minister of Transport, Kwame Ofori Asiamah, echoed the IMO Secretary-General’s sentiments, and said women’s participation is crucial to growing Africa’s Blue Economy.
He said, “in the maritime industry today, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of impact of women as leaders. Increasing gender diversity means exposure to variety of new ideas and information from people of different backgrounds. As noted by the secretary General, gender balance is not a women’s issue. It is a business issue.”
The President of WIMOWCA, who is also the Deputy Chief Executive of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Sylvia Asana Dauda Owu assured of the association’s contribution towards the regional efforts to combat the menace of piracy.