Women in maritime get association in West and Central Africa

The Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA), the newest IMO-supported regional association for women in the maritime sector (WIMA), has been officially inaugurated.

“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,” says WIMOWCA interim president, Sylvia Asana Dauda Owu.

“Women, as you are all aware, form over 51% 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.”

“For sustainability and success in the modern world, shipping needs diversity in the workforce and we need women to drive the decision-making processes,” says IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim. “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.”

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. Between them, the WIMAs count more than 700 participants from across 152 countries.

The inaugural WOMOWCA event also featured a panel discussion on “The impact of maritime insecurity on shipping in the Gulf of Guinea, challenges and the way forward”, which provided a regional perspective on the situation.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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