Harnessing Women’s Contribution to the Blue Economy in the Gulf of Guinea-Cotonou- Benin
19 -20 July 2023
The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in collaboration with the Inter Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) for the Implementation of Regional Strategy for Maritime Safety and Security in Central and West Africa, and with support from the Government of Denmark, organized a two-day symposium on Women in Maritime. The symposium was a crucial component of the five-year project titled “Integrating Responses to threats to Maritime Safety and Security in the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Domain in West and Central Africa (2022-2026).” This event aimed to address and enhance women’s participation in maritime security and the blue economy.
Over the course of two days, participants representing regional organizations, state agencies, women’s associations in the maritime sector, civil society organizations, and academic and research institutions from eight countries across West and Central Africa gathered to share experiences and deliberate on strategies to promote women’s active involvement in maritime security and the blue economy. The symposium had three main objectives:
The symposium featured three plenary sessions, where seasoned maritime security experts and practitioners from the Gulf of Guinea region presented insights. Participants also had the opportunity to highlight women’s engagement in the blue economy, sharing the status, achievements, challenges, and prospects from their respective countries. The final session involved group work focused on specific topics, encouraging participants to propose best practices and solutions related to women’s roles in maritime security and the blue economy.
The symposium concluded with the adoption of a communiqué containing eleven key recommendations. These recommendations emphasized the need for gender-sensitive maritime policies, networks for women in maritime, capacity-building, and greater collaboration among stakeholders. Her Excellency Christine Churcher, Ghana’s Ambassador to Benin, chaired the closing ceremony. She shared her experiences as a female politician in Ghana and stressed the importance of women’s participation in all sectors of the economy to promote gender equality and women’s rights. Ambassador Churcher highlighted the significance of building alliances and systems to support women’s meaningful participation in the blue economy. She expressed gratitude to KAIPTC, ICC, and the Government of Denmark for addressing gender equality and maritime security, ultimately contributing to sustainable peace, maritime security, and the development of the blue economy.