The Ocean Ambassadors Foundation (OAF) has urged more girl children to embrace careers in seafaring in the light of the global campaign for more female inclusion in the maritime sector.

Founder, OAF, Mrs. Violet Olaitan Williams made this appeal on Monday at the group’s event to mark the 2022 Children’s Day celebration which held at the LTT Coastal & Marine Services Limited in Lagos.

Addressing girl-children drawn from Senior Secondary classes in over 10 Public and Private schools in Lagos, Williams noted that there is an ongoing aggressive global campaign for female-inclusion in maritime, especially seafaring thus, enlightening the girl child about the opportunities is imperative.

According to her, “ OAF has taken it upon itself to join the global campaign for building youths interest in the sector. Based on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) statistics in 2019, only 9 percent of the nation’s seafarers are females in a nation blessed with aquatic endowments and human capital.

“Don’t be intimidated by men in this sector because we equally have women as ship captains, engineers, tugboat captains, seafarers and women in other aspects of maritime like maritime lawyers, administrators, ship agents, among others.”

She also commended the LTT Coastal & Marine Services Limited, for prioritising sea time and employment for female seafarers on their vessels.

Also speaking at the conference, the first black female Master Mariner from Southshield’s Marine School United Kingdom, Capt. Edidiong Sola-Abalo encouraged the young girls to have a clear vision of what they desire and to focus on attaining it.

“We never had this privilege to be trained and informed about the opportunities in the maritime sector. You’re better placed to be successful in seafaring and other aspects of maritime with this learning opportunity,” she said.

She also stressed the need for females to identify with industry so as to get counsel on gender issues or and seek guidance in their quest to be successful amazons in maritime.

Speaking at the event, the first female tugboat operator in West Africa, Capt. Ebinipre Canus, who told the story of her becoming, described tugboat as a unique vessel which assists other vessels navigate through a narrow channel or anchor at a port.

She disclosed that as a captain she has an amazing sense of accomplishment and a better self-esteem as a woman, thus, she encouraged the young girls to go for their dreams in the industry.

Capt. Ebinipre also took the students onboard a tugboat to give them an experience of seafaring.

Founder of the Female Seafarers Association of Nigeria (FESAN), Koni Duniya, hinged her presentation on the emergence of Blockchain and how major transformations in shipping can be explored by tech-savvy youths.

According to Duniya who referenced the influence of Blockchain technology in the transformation already witnessed in the telecommunication industry, embracing this in Shipping will bring speed, efficiency, more revenue and eliminates corruption and shipping, even as she stressed that blockchain.

The Executive Producer, Maritime TV Africa, Mrs. Ezinne Azunna also took a moment to speak on the importance of hygiene and deportment as the children grow in their career paths.

We report that the event by Ocean Ambassadors is a “Catch them Young” initiative to sensitize the youths in secondary schools about the Blue Economy and career opportunities it offers.

 

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