Basic Concepts of Ocean Governance for Early Career Ocean Professionals, with a focus on the African Seas

The International Ocean Institute (via its Secretariat in Malta) carried out this virtual training workshop, through the IOI Centre in South Africa, as an opportunity for individuals from a diverse range of Ocean related backgrounds – self-identifying as ECOPs – to acquire a basic knowledge of Ocean governance. This was through a series of online sessions, held over a period of four  weeks, between 29th March – 7th April 2022.

Over 700 applications from all over Africa (and some beyond) were received, but only 34 were accepted in order to foster and optimise the interactive aspect of the learning experience. Participants came from 16 countries: Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Eswatini, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

The sessions covered Basic Concepts of Ocean Governance, The oceans and sustainable development, The Blue Economy and Societal Perspectives, and Introduction to Marine Spatial Planning, allowing for participants to learn about Ocean Governance principles in different contexts.

Screenshot of participants

The workshop was offered as a series of guided interactive sessions, each programmed as a presentation and mentored discussion with the aim of illustrating the interdisciplinarity and holistic nature of the topics.  Attention was focussed on the interlinkages, interdependencies and connections within Ocean systems and human activities.  Class interaction was guided to encourage discussion around the identification of issues and to be solution seeking. The expert faculty highlighted good practice examples and case studies from around African continent and its seas. 

Participants learnt to be able to identify priority issues, trends and future challenges in Ocean issues regionally; and appreciate and contextualise these within the Decade of Ocean Science framework.  They were also encouraged to relate and apply all they had learnt to the context of the African continent and its seas, giving them skills to employ in their local area, whilst considering a global setting.

As you can read from the participant testimonials below, the training was extremely well received and due to the high number  of applicants, it is clear there is a huge demand for educational resources on Ocean Governance, in Africa.  There is hope that IOI and the ECOP Programme continue a collaborative partnership to scale up the delivery of capacity trainings in the African region.

Participant testimonials

The information on this page comes from the Training Report delivered by the International Ocean Institute.

Thanks go to IOC-UNESCO and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) for their generous funding to support this capacity development training.