Conference for maritime entrepreneurs held

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Participants sharing ideas during the session
Participants sharing ideas during the session

A day’s conference aimed at equipping young maritime entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge and skills to take advantage of opportunities in the industry has been held in Accra.

On the theme: ‘Preparing professionals to power global growth’, the conference, which is the second in a series, is an initiative of the Masser Afrique.

Masser Afrique is a Ghana-based company formed by an alliance of maritime professionals with diverse skills committed to supporting the maritime industry.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Masser Afrique, Mr Jeffrey Botchway, in an interview with the Daily Graphic after the conference on September 29 in Accra, observed that there were a number of opportunities in the maritime industry which the young generation could take advantage of.

It was for that reason, he said, students and graduates from the tertiary institutions such as the Ashesi University, University of Ghana, Regional Maritime University (RMU) and Central University should be equipped in the maritime industry.

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He added that young entrepreneurs needed to identify problems in the maritime industry in order to take advantage by establishing their own jobs.

“Masser Afrique also focuses on awareness and promotion of opportunities within the industry.

“Our purpose is to create economic value to your country by training and educating individuals, organisations and government agencies with a wide range of support services whether on land or at sea,” he said.

Design thinking

A lecturer at the Ashesi University, Mr David Hutchful, called on the young generation to use design thinking approach as their competitive advantage.

He said using designed thinking was also crucial in addressing current societal problems.

While defining design thinking as a process of putting a person or a group of people at the centre to solve a societal problem, he said the adoption of design thinking approach by the young generation would help them resolve what he termed wicked problems.

Mr Hutchful observed that the world today was faced with serious challenges which needed to be addressed using designed thinking.

“Because of the nature of the problems in the world today, we have to start by thinking about how to solve these problems because the old ways of solving the problems are not yielding any results,” he said.

Critical thinking

Mr Hutchful’s views were, however, corroborated by the Deputy General Manager of Puma Energy Ghana, Mr Kwesi Amanor, an oil marketing company in the country.

He advised educational institutions to pay attention to critical thinking and problem-solving approaches to teaching at both the secondary and tertiary levels.  

Mr Amanor said there was the need to assess the mismatch between the preparations given to students to enable them to pass their examinations and the practical realities of life after graduation.

Changing the statistics

An assistant lecturer at the RMU, Ms Nicholine Tifuh Azirh, encouraged women to develop interest in the maritime industry.

She said it was time to change the statistics of women in the maritime industry with the provision of enhanced opportunities for women, given that the International Transport Workers’ Federation estimated that only two per cent of the world’s maritime workforce was comprised of women.

She stated that the maritime industry needed more women, particularly in leadership roles, to promote the contribution of the industry to national development.