Students of Accra Girls Senior High School have been urged to consider careers in the maritime sector, as the enormous opportunities the sector offers are largely untapped.
Speaking at a workshop organised for senior high school students in commemoration of World Ocean Day 2021 by the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GoGMI) – in partnership with the Development of Oceans Technical Capacity with African Nations (DOTCAN) and Nexus Coastal Resource Management Ltd., both based in Canada – Mrs. Getrude Ohene-Asienim, country manager of OY Offshore Limited, indicated that the ocean is our life-support system.
She said the ocean provides an array of resources upon which many livelihoods are developed; regulates our climate; absorbs harmful atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide; and generates the oxygen we need to breathe, therefore it is imperative that we do all we can to protect it from overexploitation and degradation.
GoGMI’s representative, Dr. Alberta Sagoe, urged the students to disabuse their minds from the idea that careers in the maritime sector are only for men. She added that the maritime sector is accommodative to all kinds of professions and is not restrictive in any way.
Dr. John York Abaidoo, the Dean of graduate studies at the Regional Maritime University (RMU), encouraged the students to consider enrolment at the RMU to pursue studies that will propel their career in the maritime industry.
The Ghana Navy was represented by Lt. Commander Michael Agyare Asiamah, who shared a detailed presentation on the navy’s primary role in protecting the nation’s maritime space and other functions it performs in collaboration with other stakeholders in the maritime sector.
The president of DOTCAN, Prof. Doug Wallace, emphasised the need to engage young people in matters related to development of the nations’ blue economies, and pledged his organisation’s support in fostering technical capacity across the African Atlantic Region.
The one-day sensitisation programme sought to broaden the understanding of students on the connection of human life to the oceans; build a sense of responsibility toward protection of the oceans; and widen their minds on considering careers within the maritime sector in the future.
World Ocean Day
The Oceans Day is a United Nations initiative that was first declared in 1992, following the UN conference on environment and development. In 2008, 8th June was officially designated as World Ocean Day, with a different theme each year.
The Day is celebrated annually to raise global awareness on the benefits humans get from the ocean and our individual and collective duty to use its resources sustainably.
It is also creates a platform to celebrate and appreciate what the oceans provide – from the oxygen we breathe to the inspiration it provides artists. The theme for 2021 is ‘The Ocean: Life & Livelihoods’.
This year’s celebration
As part of this year’s celebration, the maiden edition of a quiz competition on Ocean Literacy was organised by the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GoGMI) in partnership with Development of Oceans Technical Capacity with African Nations (DOTCAN) and Nexus Coastal Resource Management Ltd. This was organised to test the students’ knowledge on ocean-related issues and also foster networking among the Ghanaian and Canadian students.
The competition was held virtually andinvolved students from Accra Girls Senior High School, Ghana, and Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School, Nova Scotia, Canada.
At the end of the competition Eva Essel, Janet Abrafi Ofori, Princess Nyarko, Anastasia Ayums Akparibo and Gladys Ayebia Ashong won the top-five positions respectively.
The celebration was crowned with a sensitisation workshop on ocean health and maritime jobs for more than three hundred (300) students at the Accra Girls Senior High School, where various speakers treated the students to different presentations and discussions on the topics. The workshop was supported by Twellium Industries Limited, Everpure Water and Nkunim supermarket.
GoGMI is a non-profit organisation incorporated in Ghana. It constitutes a ‘think-tank’ for maritime strategic thinkers, practitioners and allies to interact, share ideas and research into strategic maritime affairs affecting the Gulf of Guinea region.
The Institute’s core business is strategic maritime research, consultancy and advocacy in the areas of safety, security and environment in the Ghanaian and Gulf of Guinea Maritime space at large.