AAMA and WOMESA reach agreement on a Memorandum of Agreement setting a base for greater and closer cooperation
Pretoria: 01 June 2016
Efforts to bolster the role and impact of women in the development of Africa’s maritime sector are to receive a further boost following a preliminary agreement between Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) and the Association of Women in the Maritime Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa (WOMESA) to formalize co-operation in pursuance of programmes to empower women.
AAMA is the coordinating body for the Maritime Administrations in Africa established in terms of the African Maritime Transport Charter (AMTC), while WOMESA is an association of women established under the auspices of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) with the aim of enabling women to train in maritime and thereby acquire the high levels of competence that the maritime industry demands.
The two bodies reached an agreement during a meeting in Ethiopia in early 2016 to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will facilitate among other things; joint undertakings or close collaboration in a number of activities and initiatives aimed at strengthening the role and impact of women participation in the continent’s maritime economic sector development.
Representing AAMA on the agreement were Mr Benard Bobison-Opoku, AAMA Secretariat and Legal Counsel at the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and Mr Collins Makhado, Executive Head of Centre for Industry Development also at SAMSA, representing the Chairperson of AAMA, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele; while Mrs Veronica Maina, Head of WOMESA Secretariat represented the women’s association.
The MoU, soon to be formally ratified; will enjoin the parties to among other things;
- Promote general cooperation in the implementation of the broader African maritime development agenda as envisaged in the AMTC, 2050 AIM Strategy (AIM Strategy) and SADC Protocol on Transport, Communication and Meteorology;
- Promote the development of skills on maritime safety, security and preservation of marine environment, under IMO, ILO and other international, continental and regional instruments;
- Reciprocate access to each other’s conference platforms and avail opportunities for business to business networking and the participation of its industry constituencies. These include the transformation platforms focusing on African women in maritime, African maritime youth development, enterprise development and job creation, etc.;
- Explore current mechanisms/instruments for the provision of financial support to WOMESA local Chapters seeking to engage on potential investments in the maritime sector;
- Facilitate access to and availing of experts and contributors to each other’s platforms for strategic conversations; and
- Provide financial and non-financial support for the realisation of the objectives of initiatives and programmes as outlined.
The agreement on the MoU was reached between the two bodies during WOMESA’s 7th Annual Conference/ Training, Annual General Meeting and Governing Council Meeting held from 22 to 26 February 2016 at the Adulala Resort & Spa at Debrezeit Babogaya, Ethiopia.
According to a recent WOMESA report on the conference, members of the association came from across 14 countries of the Eastern and Southern Africa region, participated at the event.
The countries included the Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania.
Issues dealt with during the gathering included:
- The democratic debate on the grey shades of Maritime Women Leadership
- Young women as the new driving force behind maritime and the integrated transport system
- Building Africa’s blue economy: Setting common agenda at the regional level
- The impact of The Impact of Increasing Vessels Size and Alliance on Port Operations
- The role of emotional intelligence in career progression
- Impact of gender stereotypes on advancement leadership by women.
WOMESA also conducted an elective conference that saw Mauritian, Mrs. Meenaksi Bhirugnath Bhookhun as chairman of its Governing Council and Tanzanian, Mrs. Hiacinter Burchard Rwechungura as her deputy.
The rest of the council is made up of Mrs Fatma Yusuf (Kenya) as Secretary
Ms. Liyuwork Amare Shiferaw (Ethiopia) as Treasurer, Ms Karine Rassool (Seychelles as Marketing & Communication Officer, Mrs Catherine Wairi (Kenya) and honorary member, and Mrs. Tamanda Kalilombe (Malawi) as Council Member, while Mrs Nancy Karigithu (Kenya) and Mrs Nomita Seebaluck (Mauritius) were also roped in as ‘co-opted’ Council members
Working alongside Mrs Maina as WOMESA’s Secretariat is Mrs.Rosemary Oile as the association’s Programme Director.