Dr Ife Okafor-Yarwood

Dr Ife Okafor-Yarwood

Lecturer in Sustainable Development

Researcher profile

+44 (0)1334 46 3938



My research has generated critical insights across several key areas, including the blue economy, environmental justice, human security, maritime governance, and security. I take a critical approach to the concept of sustainable development, particularly concerning the management of marine and other natural resources. In doing so, I challenge prevailing security, environmental justice, and maritime governance assumptions.

My research approach is inherently multidisciplinary, blending empirical investigations, indigenous epistemologies, legal analysis, historical perspectives, and theoretical frameworks. This comprehensive approach allows me to explore the intricate factors shaping environmental justice, maritime and natural resource governance, and African security dynamics.

I continue to advance a deeper understanding of the intricacies of ocean sustainability, development, and criminal activities. These matters are intertwined with questions of resource management, environmental justice, and the disproportionate impact of resource depletion on maritime security, poverty, and inequality.

Research areas

Synergies between Indigenous practices and scientific knowledge in practicalising closed season in Ghana’s small-scale fisheries.

In my capacity as a 2023 PEW Marine Fellow, with the valuable support of a PhD researcher, our ongoing research centres on investigating the gender-specific impacts of conservation measures in West Africa. Specifically, we are scrutinising the effects of fishing closed seasons in Ghana. We aim to ascertain how integrating traditional knowledge, practices, and scientific methods can pave the way for a more equitable conservation policy in West Africa.

Simultaneously, as an oceans governance and maritime security consultant, my current engagement spans various policy-oriented projects. These include exploring women's participation in fisheries, an in-depth analysis of the challenges they confront, and formulating strategies to enhance their ability to leverage the opportunities arising from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). Additionally, I'm actively reviewing the geopolitical interests in maritime security in Africa, the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in maritime security and the intersection of gender, women, peace, and security agenda within the maritime context.

PhD supervision

  • Josephine Asare
  • Oladele Madamidola
  • Allan Majalia

Selected publications


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