Ghana’s Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has called on African countries to institute legislative frameworks to address the incidence of maritime safety, security, plastic pollution and ocean governance in order to build resilient economies.
He expressed dismay that about eight million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the ocean annually, and cautioned that if urgent measures are not taken right now to address the phenomenon by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than aquatic life.
“Our national and continental strategies should take into consideration the environmental dimension of the blue economy so that we can together preserve our ecosystem,” Dr. Bawumia emphasised.
The Vice-President made the call in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of the Sixth Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Africa Conference in Accra.
He said government is instituting measures to ensure plastic waste management becomes an integral part of the maritime environment, and urged African nations to develop the necessary legislations to address maritime pollution.
The two-day conference is on the theme ‘The Role of Women in Harnessing the Potential of Africa’s Blue Economy’, and attracted delegates and shipping councils from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Central Africa Republic and Togo.
The event, which was graced by Mr. Kitack Lim – Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation, brought together women in maritime transport, trading, logistics and management positions.