Africa: Empowering Women in Maritime
International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s global programme on Women in Maritime is the latest to feature at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, Kenya (26-28 November) this week.
A WOMESA side event on the integration of women in the maritime sector, featured a host of speakers (click for photos and details), participants from 10 African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa) supported by IMO and conference attendees. The Association of Women Managers in the Maritime Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa (WOMESA), was initiated by IMO, launching in 2007.
Speaking at the event, IMO's Helen Buni, who runs the programme, said that "the time is now for women to ride the wave of Africa's maritime sector". She added that "female empowerment is an economic no-brainer" given that empowering women to participate equally in the global economy could add US$28 trillion in GDP growth by 2025."
Ms. Buni highlighted the IMO World Maritime Day theme for 2019 - 'Empowering women in the maritime sector'.
She urged participants to embrace this as a unique chance to share ideas and opportunities, create new partnerships and work together to turn the Blue Economy concept into concrete actions. In doing so, it will also help the maritime sector build momentum in helping deliver the UN Sustainability Development Goals, including SDG5 on gender equality.
Ms. Buni also took the opportunity to announce plans to re-establish a network for women in the maritime sector for west and central African countries - to promote female empowerment in the #BlueEconomy in the region.