2019 ‘Day of the Seafarer’ marked in Accra

The Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) on Tuesday commemorated the 2019 ‘Day of the Seafarer’ while urging youth in the country especially women to look up to the maritime industry when selecting their future careers.

Thomas Kofi Alonsi, Director General of the GMA, in an interaction with the media in Accra said the International Day of the Seafarer was a special remembrance day established by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to recognise the immense contributions of seafarers.

“The day is also used to create global awareness of the risks seafarers face as well as to call on all member states of the IMO to formulate policies and create facilities that ensure the mental and physical stability of all seafarers,” he added.

He noted that seafarers worked around the clock in extremely dangerous and hazardous situations to bring basic necessities and life luxuries to us.

“This year’s theme “I am on board with Gender Equality” was strategically selected to lay emphasis on the INO’s recognition of the invaluable contributions made by women seafarers and women in the maritime sector,” Mr Alonsi explained.

He added that the IMO’s thematic phrases for 2019 Day of the Seafarer “I am on board with Gender Equality”, the World Maritime Day “Empowering women in the maritime community” and the Seafarers Day theme were not about gender competition but a proven business strategy.

According to Kitack Lim-IMO Secretary General “studies have repeatedly shown that organisations that have a critical mass of women in leadership perform better and are more profitable”.

The IMO took the theme in affirmation to its commitment to the United Nations Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goal 5 which focused on gender equality, he added.

The GMA, he said, proudly acknowledges all its gallant seafarers across the globe who were aiding in trade and development of all nations.

He specifically congratulated all female seafarers past and present, old and young, saying “the sacrifices you make, the self denial, limitations, discrimination and bravery are well appreciated”.

Mr Alonsi noted that currently Ghana could boast of 19 women seafarers in various designations, notably Captain (retd) Beatrice Vormawor, Africa’s first female Captain, and two other captains Hannah Aggrey and Catherine Hazel both lecturing at the Regional Maritime University.

BY CLAUDE ADAMS

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