President Speaks at OECD Workshop on Maritime Clusters and Global Challenges
On 1 December, President Doumbia-Henry made a presentation at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Workshop in Paris entitled: Maritime Clusters and Global Challenges.
President Doumbia-Henry focused on the subject of Main challenges faced by the world maritime industry and policy measures to address them - Education and human resources development in maritime sectors. She stated, “Rapidly changing technology and globalization means that it is imperative that maritime and ocean education – as opposed to maritime and ocean training – is geared to imparting knowledge and changing attitudes that support the creation of jobs through an entrepreneurial and sustainable mind-set as well as educating individuals for the future jobs that will be created. It is certainly not enough, and may even be shortsighted, to educate tomorrow’s industry actors and maritime leaders based solely on past and present labour markets.”
In terms of jobs in the maritime sector, the President encouraged maritime nations to examine their needs carefully and to tailor their maritime education policies to meet those needs while providing for a sustainable future. She spoke of jobs in the marine/ocean sector and the need to take into account Goal 14 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which addresses the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. To ensure future stewardship of the sea, she suggested that ocean education and the associated marine and maritime knowledge be introduced in basic education at the earliest possible time “so upcoming generations will have an early and deep sense of human dependence on the oceans and be effectively disposed to be good stewards of this irreplaceable resource.”
The President highlighted the role of WMU in educating maritime and ocean leaders of tomorrow to support human resource capacity of States and the maritime industry in the areas of maritime regulation and policy setting and the different technical domains of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), including marine environmental sustainability. She noted that in response to Goal 14 of the SDGs, two new Master of Science specializations were introduced at WMU in 2016 including Maritime Energy Management and Ocean Sustainability, Governance & Management. Further, she emphasized the University’s commitment to SDG 4 in support of education and lifelong learning opportunities for all, as well as Goal 5 on gender equality highlighting WMU’s efforts to increase women’s participation in the maritime industry.