Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA) – the newest group set up with the support of IMO to champion the place of women in the maritime sector – has held its first conference since being inaugurated in Dakar, Senegal, from 6-7 December.
IMOWCA is part of IMO’s Women in Maritime programme, WIMA. WIMOWCA is the eighth regional body to be formed in line with IMO’s strategy of promoting the contribution of women as key maritime stakeholders.
The theme of the conference was “Transitioning to Decarbonized, Digitalized and Sustainable Shipping”, while 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.
Day one of the meeting focused on smart ports and policy changes for a sustainable maritime industry, as well as the decarbonization of shipping. Day two concentrated on managing diversity, women’s leadership and empowerment in the maritime community and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Ten resolutions were passed by delegates, including:
- The use of digital technology;
- The need for long-term national strategies in the region aligned with UN Conventions to promote economic growth whilst protecting the marine ecosystem;
- Access to leadership training for women; the development of policies to prevent marine litter;
- The fight against piracy;
- The need for political backing to support the decarbonization of shipping.