The Women's International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria over the weekend announced that it has concluded arrangements to organise its 2021 business luncheon aimed at encouraging women's participation in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) through the maritime sector.
The one-day conference, WISTA said, would be part of the group's efforts geared at increasing and developing shipping policy that would deepen women's participation in the maritime sector with the view of empowering them with adequate manpower, policy framework and connections.
Highlighting the significance of the forthcoming conference at a media briefing in Lagos, the President, WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke, said the organisation seeks to encourage women to participate in trade opportunities within the sector.
She noted that the theme of the event centered on the AfCFTA, provides the opportunity for gender inclusion in the maritime sector, saying there are many financial institutions willing to give loans to women.
"Other activities include advocacy for women inclusion, gender parity, promotion of gender related activities, encouraging gender friendly policies, proffering solutions and opinions on Industry issues as well as carrying out CSR responsibilities targeted at women in coastal communities and mentoring young female professionals in the sector, "she said.
According to her, the luncheon would hold on July 8th, 2021, with breakout sessions, "As we have a duty through our Africa Agenda Committee Africa's Participation which is strategic to our quest for developing the 2050 Africa's Integrated Maritime Strategy."
She added: "We are happy that Nigeria has keyed in and embraced the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and is presently sensitising the various stakeholders in public and private sectors."
Ezeoke, who retired from Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) as a Port Manager in 2017, further revealed that the whole activities of the group was to encourage women participation in international trade, while interfacing with several maritime organisations in the world.