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The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has called for the creation of more opportunities for women participation in the maritime sector, particularly in Africa to fully harness the huge potentials of the continent’s blue economy.
According to him, women form a very significant percentage of the population of Africa and their role in any development effort cannot be overlooked.
“However, the International Transport Workers’ Federation estimates that only 2 per cent of the world’s maritime workforce are women. I believe the time is now to change this statistic by enhancing opportunities for women participation in the sector.”, he stressed.
Dr Bawumia made the call in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Transport, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah at the opening ceremony of the 6th WISTA Africa Region Conference in Accra on 2nd April, 2019.
He, however, noted that the government is making progressive efforts to empower women in its governance process and the maritime sector and cited the appointments of the first woman Director of Tema Port and Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority as evidence.
On his part, the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Mr. Kitack Lim said his outfit’s commitment to the cause of women in the maritime industry cannot be overemphasised as this year’s World Maritime Day will be celebrated under the theme: “Empowering women in the maritime community”.
“We are committed to making 2019 a year of action; a year to break down barriers and start activities and projects to empower women in the maritime community.”, he said
In a welcome address, Mrs. Jemilat Jawulaa Mahamah, President of WISTA Ghana said the harnessing of the potential of Africa’s blue economy requires the inclusive participation of all citizens of the continent of which women and girls, in particular, must play a key role.
The 6th WISTA Africa Region Conference which is being held from 2nd – 4th April, 2019 is under the theme “The Role of Women in Harnessing the Potential of Africa’s Blue Economy”