Dr Emmanuel Kofi Mbiah, a Maritime Law Consultant, has called for the election of a woman to hold the position of the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Dr Mbiah, also the former chairman of the Legal Committee of the IMO, and a legal practitioner said the time was ripe for women to hold such positions.
Speaking with the media during the celebration of the 2022 International Women’s Day in Tema, Dr Mbiah recognized the numerous contributions of women in the blue economy and therefore appealed to members of the organization to vote for a woman, preferably an African, to the Secretary-General position in its upcoming elections.
He said: “Very soon, there would be elections of the IMO Secretary-Generalship; I am one of the crusaders who believe it is time the world realizes it is not about lip service, we should see the reality on the ground. Let us give the opportunity to women.”
Dr Mbiah who is also a former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) said there was the need for the establishment of deliberate strategic plans of action that supported calls for increased women participation at the decision-making level.
He said the needed programme should be put in place to spell out a target, in which the number of years would be put in place to achieve certain objectives that would favour women in the industry.
He also called for an all-encompassing plan that would fully harness the potential of ordinary women contributing to the blue economy of Ghana.
According to him, even though many people engaged in fishing activities along Ghana’s coastline were women, it was worrying that poverty was endemic in the entire coastal belt which affected their livelihood.
He said authorities must look at ways to support women in areas of microfinance, marketing, and packaging arrangements, as well as some export orientation for the country to move to levels that could truly empower women.
He also encouraged women to challenge themselves to consider careers in underexplored areas of the blue economy such as ship repair, marine engineering, among others.