The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, has announced the Agency’s readiness to support initiatives aimed at getting more African women involved in the industry.
He made this known while receiving the president of Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA), Ghana, Jemilat Mahamah, in his office, last week.
“Globally, the focus in the maritime industry today is how to get more women involved in the sector, whether as seafarers, ship owners, etc. So every effort to encourage the participation of women in the sector is supported by NIMASA. You can count on our support,” Peterside said, adding that this year is dedicated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), to empowering women in the maritime sector, specifically, shipping.
He, therefore, assured WISTA of NIMASA’s support and by extension, Nigeria. “We believe and support everything that would give women a role in the maritime sector. There is no sector that would exclude 50 per cent of the population and expect that sector to thrive. If we exclude women, we are excluding 50 per cent of our population from benefitting in the economic activities in the maritime sector,” the NIMASA boss said.
Earlier, the President of WISTA Ghana emphasised the place of the 45-year-old organisation in the maritime world. “We basically promote women in the shipping industry, and we mentor the young and coming ones,” Mahamah said of her organisation. Mahamah thanked Nigeria for leading the way in the enactment of relevant Cabotage laws to enhance shipping activities in the continent.
President, WISTA Nigeria, Mary Hamman, was among prominent Nigerian women maritime professionals that took part in the visit. The 6th WISTA Africa Region Conference in the Ghanaian capital will be opened by the country’s President Nana Akufo-Addo. It will be attended by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and Vice President of Liberia Joseph Boakai, among other prominent leaders and maritime industry experts from across Africa and beyond.
WISTA got ‘Observer Status’ at IMO last year and has a membership of about 3, 500 women in the maritime industry from across over 40 countries.