COMMUNIQUE – 6TH WISTA AFRICA REGION CONFERENCE
April 24, 2019
A number of issues in the course of the conference were addressed and the following were reached as the way forward:
- Knowledge is Key: Women must seek knowledge pertaining to the Blue Economy/maritime industry through mentors or acquiring the skills from an educational institution/internet. Knowledge is power and is key to success. There are guidelines, laws and regulations guiding the maritime sector and we must know them.
- We must be abreast with opportunities in the maritime industry (areas of involvement) as well as positions that become vacant. This is critical for increasing formidable capacity in the number of women in the industry.
- Pollution issues are of concern to the IMO. As women, we must be concerned too. In any area of maritime we find ourselves, we must be ambassadors for anti-pollution. We must keep our oceans and environment clean. We must be actively involved.
- On maritime clusters and ocean sustainable development in Africa, the following is proposed:
- Developing maritime clusters as a union in Africa. This can start with WISTA.
- Africa needs to develop the passion and commitment for this by building capacity through relevant training.
- Need for policy framework and building of strong institutions.
- Need to develop local content just as has been done in the oil and gas sector to protect local entrepreneurs.
- Encourage the small and medium scale entrepreneurs to venture into the maritime sector.
- A Regional Maritime App to put up experiences of women in the industry for the young ones to read and learn.
- There should be a synergy between the private sector operators and public policy makers in the industry to make the business climate affordable.
- Women in government must drive legislation that involve the progress of women. Suitable legislation must be pursued to address the cause of women in the maritime sector.
- Sustainable fisheries and Aquaculture. There are many laws regulating the fisheries industry in various countries. We must be aware of fishing laws and ensure that those involved in the fishing business do so in a sustainable way. Women groups should be encouraged to come together to form formidable groups to actively participate in fishing, example, acquiring trawlers, fish dryers, etc.