By Kenneth Jukpor
African Women in Maritime (WIMAFRICA) has fetched an award as African Union’s (AU) 2018 Special Award of Excellence for Blue Economy.
WIMAFRICA received this award at the Global Conference on Blue Economy organized by the AU in Nairobi, Kenya, last week.
According to the presenters, WIMAFRICA got the award as a result of its successful partnership with the African Union Commission in the promotion of Africa’s Blue Economy.
The association’s recognition as the Best Association in the promotion of the Sustainability of the African Blue Economy, was celebrated elaborately with applauds from the President of Kenya, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta and the President of Seychelles, Mr. Danny Faure and other notable global maritime dignitaries such as the President of the World Maritime University (WMU), Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia – Henry.
While presenting the award, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H . E. Mahamat commended WIMAFRICA, admonishing the association to continue taking giant strides in the bid to harness the potentials of blue economy in Africa.
Meanwhile, the President of WIMAFRICA, Barr. (Mrs.) Jean-Chiazor Anishere expressed delight as she received the award, noting that the tribute would spur WIMAFRICA to greater heights.
Referring to the award as a “glorious one”, she assured that the association would intensify efforts to promote AU’s agenda in the development and sustainability of the blue economy across the African continent.
Anishere maintained that protecting African oceans shouldn’t be a debate but an actual necessity, noting that with over 90 percent of earth’s water; the oceans generate over half of the oxygen humans breathe, regulating the climate and providing food and income for billions of people, among other things.
“Sustainability in the context of a Blue Economy is all about Africa’s ability to use the ocean space as opportunity for development, new energy possibilities, protected areas that improve biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation, and provide increased food security. It is about the sustainable use of our potential mineral wealth on the ocean floor. It is about offsetting our own emissions and those of our planet in the fight against climate change” she said.
While she stressed that Africa’s endowment in enormous natural resources could never be overemphasized, she admonished the continent to embrace the blue economy and the solutions it proffers to the economic problems and development needs facing the continent’s states.