WIMOWCA Holds First Conference in Senegal

WIMOWCA Holds First Conference in Senegal

The Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA), the newest group set up with the support of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to “champion the place of women in the maritime sector,” held its first conference since its inauguration in Dakar, Senegal.

The conference, held as a hybrid event on Dec 6 to 7, had the theme “Transitioning to Decarbonized, Digitalized and Sustainable Shipping”. Fourteen countries were represented: Cameroon, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Moreover, the event showcased seven sessions with 16 speakers and discussants.

The first day of the conference concentrated on smart ports and policy changes for a sustainable maritime industry, as well as the decarbonization of shipping. The second day then focused on managing diversity, women’s leadership and empowerment in the maritime community and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

During the conference, the delegates reached 10 resolutions that include the use of technology where African countries are to take note of the importance of using digital solutions and smart initiatives by “building smart ports for a sustainable maritime industry in Africa.”

Also, to understand that the use of technology, automation, and digitalization will greatly contribute in overcoming limitations and deliver the “highest value in terms of efficiency, quality and reliability of service in African ports.”

A resolution also suggested that women should be integrated in mainstream maritime activities through access to training as well as for Women in Maritime Associations in West and Central Africa to embrace one platform that will ensure synergy and drive their common purpose.

Other resolutions include the need for long-term national strategies in the region aligned with UN Conventions to promote economic growth whilst protecting the marine ecosystem, the development of policies to prevent marine litter, the fight against piracy, and the need for political backing to support the decarbonization of shipping.  

According to the IMO, the WIMOWCA serves as the link association between the IMO and maritime women of the West and Central African Region.

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