By Winnie Kabintie
Speakers at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference have called on women to venture out and seize the opportunities opening up in the blue economy.
According to Silvester Kututa MD/CEO, Express Shipping and Logistics EA Ltd, at the moment, there are still few women engaged in the industry and until women positioned themselves at the forefront of this emerging economic frontier, they will not reap the benefits.
INVEST IN CAREER GUIDANCE
Mr Kututa also emphasized on the need for the government and particularly the ministry of education to invest on career guidance in schools so that students from as early as primary school are exposed to the blue economy.
“Schools can set up seafaring clubs that would provide exposure and interest to students as well as setting up more learning institutions to offer training on the same” he said.
INCREASE WOMEN REPRESENTATION IN PARLIAMENT FOR INFLUENCE IN BLUE ECONOMY POLICY
Ms. Raijeli D.Nicole, Regional Director Oxfam in the pacific said that considering that matters blue economy will be pegged on policies, the only way women will gain is by ensuring that they have adequate representation in the decision-making table.
“More women equals to more power,” she said.
Currently, parliament is debating the implementation of the two-thirds gender rule and is expected to vote this week.
Increased Household Income
Ms Almas Jiwani President, Emeritus UN Women Canada NC, also reiterated on the importance of empowering women in the blue economy saying it will lead to increased household incomes and productivity in aquaculture.
The sustainable blue economy conference, a first of its kind in the globe, kicked off on Monday 26th November at the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC) and is organised by Kenya in partnership with Canada and Japan.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who officially opened the conference, announced that his government was going to adopt appropriate policies, strategies, and mechanisms to harness the blue economy in order to re-energize our national economies and create greater opportunities and jobs for our people.
“These include the blue economy implementation standing committee as well as state departments for fisheries and maritime logistics and transport,” Uhuru said.