Youth in Africa’s Blue Economy: Developing Sustainable Careers and Businesses ​

Following on from, March 2022, the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GoGMI) rolled out a 9-day course training programme intended to address Challenge 4 of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science (UN Ocean Decade): Develop a sustainable and equitable ocean economy. 

Subsequently, GoGMI launched the Blue Mentorship Programme (BMP) in November 2022 to implement a myriad of activities aimed at encouraging African youth to engage actively in sustainable blue economy careers and to offer them support through their business, entrepreneurial, or career progression journey. A crucial preliminary activity of the BMP was the virtual training course that was organized for selected beneficiaries from 8th to 18th November 2022.

This was GoGMI’s second virtual training course, with funding support from UNESCO under the Ocean Decade ECOP Programme and titled, “Youth in Africa’s Blue Economy: Developing Sustainable Careers and Businesses”.  It had 30 selected early career ocean professionals (8 female, 12 male) across 9 African countries  participating, such as: Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia, Mozambique, South Africa, Cape Verde, Kenya, and Somalia.

The training course was organized as an important first step for engaging African ECOPs in GoGMI’s BMP as a means of facilitating their full participation and meaningful contribution to rich dialogue concerning pertinent issues in Africa’s blue economy, and to continuously develop their capacity to create the workforce that Africa needs.

Screenshot of participants

Strengths of the programme

The course featured four modules, taught via online Zoom workshops:
 
  • The Blue Economy as a Driver of Sustainable Economic Development for Africa
  • The Business case for Africa’s Blue Economy
  • Fundamentals of Starting a Blue Business
  • Blue Career and Business Success Stories
The course was designed to expose the second cohort of participants to various career opportunities in Africa’s Blue Economy and guide them through variegated pathways for developing related sustainable careers.It further allowed participants to interact, share and exchange knowledge and skills throughout the course.

The outcomes of the training programme were as follows:

  • Allowed participants to learn about existing and developing blue economy businesses, and the economic prospects and challenges of marine resources
  • Exposed participants to how to effectively search for business and career opportunities within the various sectors of the blue economy
  • Introduced participants to how to write a winning business proposal
  • Participants gained insights on how to start a successful business with key areas in conducting market research, seeking funding, and finding a suitable business location
The long term objectives, which are relevant for a wider scope of the training programme include:
 
  1. Building a community of like-minded individuals who partake in meaningful dialogue about the opportunities and challenges in Africa’s Blue Economy.
  2. Creation of meaningful relationships between ECOPs and industry experts (facilitators) to enhance learning.
  3. Enhancement of the capacity of ECOPs in exploring sector prospects and challenges in Africa’s blue economy.

Example of presentations

The information on this page comes from the Training Report delivered by the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GoGMI).

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