The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has sought more involvement of women in the shipping industry, vowing that it will support initiatives aimed at getting more African women involved in the industry.
The Director-General, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, said this recently when the President, Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association, Ghana, Jemilat Mahamah, paid a courtesy visit to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.
He pledged that NIMASA would sponsor a high-powered delegation to the sixth WISTA African Regional Conference holding in Accra from April 2 to 4.
According to him, the theme of the conference, ‘The role of women in harnessing the potential of Africa’s blue economy’, coincides with the 2019 focus of the International Maritime Organisation which is, ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’.
A statement from NIMASA quoted him as saying, “Globally, the focus in the maritime industry today is how to get more women involved in the sector, whether as seafarers, shipowners or others. So every effort to encourage the participation of women in the sector is supported by NIMASA.
“It is interesting that this year is dedicated by the IMO to empowering women in the maritime sector, specifically, shipping. Your conference coincides with the thematic thrust of the IMO this year. Therefore, it is very easy for us to align with the global agenda of the international maritime community and support your initiative of hosting the continent in Accra.
“You can count on the support of NIMASA and, by extension, Nigeria. We believe and support everything that would give women a role in the maritime sector. If we exclude women, we are excluding 50 per cent of our population from benefiting in the economic activities in the maritime sector.”
Peterside also mentioned that the focus of the WISTA conference also coincided with the current efforts of African leaders to create economic activities on the continent by maximising the benefits of the blue economy.
He said, “The blue economy is one critical sector that will create employment for our people, contribute to economic growth, and give opportunities to all our people, whether they are men or women.
“So, it is timely and most appropriate that you are focusing on how to get 50 per cent of the continent’s population involved in the blue economy, be it fisheries or underwater mining, aquaculture or any of the activities that go on in the blue economy. That totally aligns with our vision of making the blue economy play a greater role in the economic growth of our country and our continent.”