Sea PoWer: Rethinking Seaweed Farming to empower Women

Sea PoWer is an experimental and life-changing project piloting an improved seaweed farming technology for women’s empowerment, livelihoods, and environmental protection in Zanzibar – with potential benefits for the entire Western Indian Ocean region and beyond.

Sea PoWer is promoting tubular nets as an innovation with the power to transform seaweed production and the lives of women who produce it.

In Sea PoWer, we contend that, to be fully effective, the introduction of the tubular net innovation to women seaweed producers must be gender transformative: it must simultaneously improve seaweed productivity and work conditions, as well as be a vector for women’s emancipation by improving their position, decision-making and visibility in the Zanzibar society.

The Sea PoWer sisters

Sea PoWer would not exist without the women seaweed farmers pioneers who have volunteered to trial the tubular nets, change their practices and engage with us. Sea PoWer is their story.

Behind Sea PoWer is a unique team of five friends and colleagues passionate about aquaculture and helping fellow women improve their livelihoods.

We have been working together for many years on applied research. We got together as a team in 2016 in Zanzibar where we founded the idea of Sea PoWer. Together we have been working with coastal communities and with women farmers for years and know them well. Because Sea PoWer is a multidisciplinary, we have contributed our own expertise to the initiative. I played a key role in bringing to the fore gender and women’s empowerment dimensions in the elaboration and leadership of the project with Flower Msuya, while the rest of the team focused on the development of the technology and trials (Flower), capacity building in communities (Narriman Jiddawi) and the promotion of Sea PoWer to policy spheres in Tanzania (Ritha Maly) and Kenya (Betty Nyonje).

Find out more about the Sea PoWer story and its goals and activities.

The combination of our individual expertise, which is internationally recognized, has made our team and our approach unique. The Sea PoWer team is composed of:

Myself, Dr Cecile Brugere, Soulfish Research & Consultancy, York, United Kingdom

Dr Flower E. Msuya, Institute of Marine Sciences, Mizingani Road, Zanzibar / Zanzibar Seaweed Cluster Initiative, Mizingani Road, P.O. Box 668, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Dr Narriman Jiddawi, Institute of Marine Sciences, Mizingani Road, Zanzibar / Institute of Fisheries Research Zanzibar, Maruhubi, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Dr Betty Nyonje, Kenya Marine & Fisheries Research Institute / Ministry of Fisheries, Nairobi, Kenya

Ms Ritha Maly, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Dodoma, Tanzania