Elvis Hene Ngwane (left), Deputy Director, Navigation, Ministry of Transport, Cameroun, supported by Air Commodore Akrong to launch the Code. Picture: DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO
Elvis Hene Ngwane (left), Deputy Director, Navigation, Ministry of Transport, Cameroun, supported by Air Commodore Akrong to launch the Code. Picture: DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO

Code of practice for women in maritime security launched

A code of practice to promote the welfare and advancement of women in maritime security and governance has been launched in Yaoundé, Cameroun.


The initiative, which seeks to address the decades-long underrepresentation of women in maritime security roles across West and Central Africa, was developed by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, with funding from the Danish Government.  

The code which focuses on four key areas - participation, protection, prevention, and relief and recovery, signifies significant development in gender equality within the maritime security sector, and was built on the principles of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325.


The Minister of Transport of Cameroun, Jean Ernest Masséna Ngallé Bibéhè, in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Director in charge of Navigation, Security and Protection of the Maritime Environment and Inland Waterways at the ministry, Elvis Hene Ngwane, encouraged women to leverage the code.

The launch, the first in a series planned across seven countries in West and Central Africa, was attended by representatives from the Interregional Coordination Centre (ICC) for Managing Safety and Security in the Gulf of Guinea, Cameroonian women's maritime groups and the Cameroonian Navy.


Mr Bibéhè further said that equal gender-based development in the sector could be achieved if there was a level playing field and women were also empowered to get the right training and skills.

The minister applauded KAIPTC’s effort in developing the code, saying “this code will serve as a guide and a useful tool to remind us, decision-makers, of our responsibility to get more women to participate in the maritime security space”.

He urged stakeholders to adopt and actively utilise the code which he said would also foster sustainable peace, security and development in the maritime sector across both regions.

On calls for review of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct, a decade-old maritime security protocol, the Head of the Information Management Division at ICC, Col. Bell Bell Emmanuel, said that the centre would consider the code as a source of inspiration to integrate gender considerations into the revised code.


The Deputy Commandant of KAIPTC, Air Commodore David Akrong, explained that the extension of Resolution 1325 by the creation of a set of guiding principles into the code, was to ensure career protection, well-being and advancement of women in maritime security.

The initiative, he said, formed part of a larger project supported by the Danish government — Integrated responses to threats to maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea maritime domain in West and Central Africa, which aims at improving regional responses to maritime security challenges.

The focus on the Gulf of Guinea, Air Commodore Akrong said, was strategic, considering the complex challenges of piracy, illegal fishing and environmental degradation it faced. 
He expressed gratitude to the governments of Cameroun and Denmark for their collaboration and support.

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