The Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GoGMI) has called on stakeholders in the blue economy to make a conscious effort to involve the youth especially girls in their activities to help them develop the interest in that sector.
Dr Alberta Ama Sagoe, Executive Director of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GoGMI), who made the call in an interaction with the media, said it was important to involve girls in the ongoing strategies to create a sustainable blue economy at the national level.
Dr Sagoe added that by helping to develop the interest of the youth especial girls in the blue economy sector, it would create a lasting legacy for the sector as well as help to curtail the major unemployment crisis in the country.
She said to ensure that the decisions in the sector were not only taken at the top and imposed on the youth, she had made it a personal mission with her outfit to bring the youth on board.
She added that there were limited options in the sector for girls, saying most of them often thought of going to work at the port or go to school after completing their training in maritime as there was no other options available to them.
She encouraged students in maritime institutions to take up voluntary internship opportunities to acquire practical skills for the industry before leaving school.
Dr Sagoe also implored industry players and companies to collaborate with the maritime educational institutes to develop curriculums to meet the needed relevant skills for industries to positioned graduates in a better position to fit into the world of work after school.
She expressed concern about the low number of women in the sector, and gave the assurance that GoGMI had particular interest to see increased women employment within the maritime industry.
She noted that currently, the chunk of women participating in the maritime industry were from the informal fisheries sector, as according to her, it was hard to find highly educated women at the helm of the fisheries sector.
“But this is a very important sector, socio-economically, so it is my dream to see women take up managerial positions in the fisheries sector influencing decisions at every stage of the value chain.”
Talking about the high rate of unemployment in Ghana, she said government must provide some logistics and support to the youth to enable them take up opportunities in under-explored areas of the blue economy.
“There are many areas we overlook and do not consider as part of our entire maritime estate, there are endless opportunities, we can talk of inland water transportation, I want to see more investment into that area,” she said.
She also said Ghana could make good use of the seaweed sargassum taking up its coast, noting that it could be transformed into fertilizer or animal feed.
She indicated that another job opportunity was to look at the production of shell-based materials form the shellfish Ghanaians consumed.