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Virtual Training Programme

Exploring Pathways to a Vibrant Ocean Economy for Africa

There is no doubt that global developmental debate in the last couple of years has been primarily focused on the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). What is beginning to emerge more and more is that the ocean is a pivotal tool for achieving these goals. Over the past few years, there has been a burgeoning awareness of the fact that SDG 14 on Life Below Water, is one of the primary facilitators for several other SDGs: Zero Hunger, Good Health & Well-being, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and of course, Climate Action.

The fluid, interconnected and vast nature of the globe’s shared maritime space provides a constant reminder that the most salient approaches to safeguarding our oceans cannot be based on segmented, uncoordinated efforts, but must depend on productive deliberation, knowledge sharing and the active participation of all relevant stakeholders towards effecting change on a global scale.

An African Solution
For developing countries like those within the West African sub-region, the ocean holds the key to sustainable economic growth and development. A vibrant ocean economy should therefore lie at the heart of national and regional agenda. One of the most crucial first steps to attaining this is by directly investing in building the capacity of Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs), primed not only to generate much needed dialogue on the ocean economy, but also to advance innovative approaches to developing a sustainable and equitable ocean economy.

The Institute took tangible steps in this direction by organising the recently concluded Blue Career and Business Expo, a two-day conference that created the platform for young people to interact with maritime industry leaders on Ghana’s ocean economy. The EXPO was not conducted as an isolated event, but as the first of a series of events and activities to be organised by the GoGMI in the coming years, intended to create multi-opportunity exchange platforms for Ghanaian youth and ECOPs to be directly engaged in the development of viable pathways towards building a robust Blue Economy in Africa. In line with this ultimate objective – and to build on the momentum generated by the EXPO – GoGMI designed a nine-day capacity building programme, intended to address Challenge 4 of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science (UN Ocean Decade): develop a sustainable and equitable ocean economy. 


About the Programme

The programme, titled Exploring Pathways to a Vibrant Ocean Economy for Africa, included a series of lectures and interactions aimed at equipping selected participants with first-hand knowledge about the blue economy. It further explored approaches to harnessing the ocean and its resources as an integral tool for advancing economic growth and development across the continent, through the development of a sustainable and equitable ocean economy.

The training was held from 14th to 24th March, 2022. It was offered in partnership with the ECOP Programme, an endorsed Action of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and was funded through the generous support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and the IOC-UNESCO.

The course ran virtually via Zoom over a series of nine online sessions. All session videos and presentation materials have been made available to interested persons below.

The detailed course syllabus, along with pre-readings can be accessed here. All selected readings are open-access documents available online (links provided). Individuals wishing to engage in self-paced learning of the topic areas are strongly encouraged to complete reading suggested materials for each session before watching session videos to gain a full contextual understanding of the lecture and subsequent discussions.


ECOP TRAINING PROGRAMME DAY 1: Presentation on Understanding the Ocean Economy delivered by Capt. (GN) Isaac Aratuo.


ECOP TRAINING PROGRAMME DAY 2: Presentation on Ocean Sustainability delivered by Naval Lieutenant Commander Duodu of the Ghana Navy.


ECOP TRAINING PROGRAMME DAY 3: Presentation on Exploring Africa's Blue Economy Sectors delivered by Mrs. Stephanie Schandorf, Associate Director of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute.


ECOP TRAINING PROGRAMME DAY 4: Presentation on Impact of IUU in Africa: Awareness on the Importance of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Blue Economy delivered by Dr. Kwame Mfodwo.


ECOP TRAINING PROGRAMME DAY 5: Presentation on Equal Rights and Access to the Ocean Economy delivered by Dr. Juliet Igbo.


ECOP TRAINING PROGRAMME DAY 6: Presentation on From Science to Policy: Equitable and Sustainable Development of Africa's Ocean Economy delivered by Dr. Felicia Chinwe Mogo.


ECOP TRAINING PROGRAMME DAY 7: Presentation on Marine Spatial Planning delivered by Joel Kamdoum Ngueuko.


ECOP TRAINING PROGRAMME DAY 8: Presentation on Integrated Coastal Zone Management for Equity and Sustainability in Africa's Blue Economy delivered by Dr. Alberta Sagoe.


ECOP TRAINING PROGRAMME DAY 9: Presentation on Sustainable Fisheries Management by Dr. Evans Kwasi Arizi.

Uzoma Nworgu, Cabo Verde

“Learning about the Blue Economy and its need in Africa has served as a compass for me as an early career ocean professional. This is the time of the ocean, and GoGMI has done a great service to the #OceanDecade initiative by organizing such a program.”