The Association of Women Managers in the Maritime Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa (WOMESA), was initiated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and launched in December 2007, in Mombasa, Kenya, under IMO's program on the Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector (IWMS). The IWMS program is now celebrating its 25th year, having been launched in 1989. Its primary objective is to encourage IMO Member States to open the doors of their maritime institutes to enable women to train alongside men and so acquire the high-level of competence that the maritime industry demands.
In 2008, one year after its launch, WOMESA developed its first five-year strategic plan (2008 - 2013). The strategic plan called for the formation of national chapters in each Member State in order to determine and prioritize the implementation of the identified programs. So far, five countries have launched their national chapters namely: Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania. Ethiopia is in the process of launching its chapter in the First Quarter of 2014.
With the foregoing, WOMESA, with IMO's support, decided to mount a three-day workshop to review and develop a new five-year Strategic Plan (2014-2019) for the Association. The objective of the workshop was to bring together WOMESA Governing Council Members, chairpersons from the different national chapters and IMO officials, to review the achievements made over the last five years and to develop a strategic plan that will guide the activities of the Association for the next five years.
A Consultant was commissioned by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to facilitate the Strategic Planning Workshop and systematically guide the workshop participants in the formulation of the five-year Strategic Plan (2014-2019).