Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor, on Monday, sealed a deal with two global event management companies; International Centre of Excellence and 4M Events – at the plush Meridian Hotel in Dubai, to host bigwigs in the aviation industry in Ghana, next year.
The event; dubbed, “Africa air Expo and Conference”, will bring together more than 200 international exhibitors and other stakeholders in the aviation industries across the globe to Ghana in October 2016.
The event, the first of its kind in Africa, was originally scheduled for take-off in October 2014, but was cancelled due to the fearful Ebola epidemic which struck neighboring West Africa counties in the last quarter of 2014, thus putting Ghana at risk.
But with the Ebola threat minimized, organizers of the event, have maintained their conviction in Ghana as the best location in hosting such as global event.
Mrs. Attivor, is already working frantically to see the resuscitation of the comatose national carrier –Ghana Airways- as one of the most significant steps towards making the plans of an aviation hub a reality.
Already, the event has received the support of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Chief Executive of Emirates Airlines, who also doubles as President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports.
This high profile endorsement of the event it is believed, is due to the fact that Ghana has a highly favourable geographical location to position itself as the aviation hub of West Africa and Africa in general.
Indeed, the Mahama government, has significantly developed its aviation sector and infrastructure.
Mr. David Tamakloe of Accra-based The Republic Newspaper reports from Dubai that the consultant for the ‘Africa Air Expo/Conference 2016, Kwesi Taylor, disclosed that many local and international companies, have expressed great interest in participating in the event, as they seek to explore new opportunities in Africa.
The milestone event expected to project Ghana as the idea hub for Africa’s aviation industry, would help stimulate job creation, infrastructure development and tourism growth in the Ghanaian aviation sector.
The ‘ Africa Air Expo/ Conference is in line with the John Mahama administration’s grand plan to lay solid foundation for the Ghana’s economic take off through re-positioning of aviation stakeholders such as Ghana Airport Company, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Transport.
“Through events such as the AVIATION AFRICA CONFERENCE and the AFRICAN AIR EXPO, we, as Governments of Africa, are telling the world that investments into Aviation will translate into better lives for our people. That the better our airports and aviation infrastructure are, the better the opportunities for us to provide essential services and opportunities to our people. An enabling regulatory aviation environment, together with a world-class airport infrastructure, will directly impact on service delivery for our people,” Mrs. Attivor told excited investors in Dubai shortly after the signing of the arrangement for the Africa Air Expo.
“Today marks a profound day for the future of Aviation, not only for Ghana, but for Africa. Indeed, the Aviation Africa 2015 Conference is making a Global Statement that Africa is the obvious choice for the future of global Aviation,” she said.
The Minister of Transport was part of a government delegation that participated in the just ended ‘Aviation Africa 2015’ conference in Dubai, where she was invited as the keynote speaker at the biggest gathering of players in the global aviation industry.
Meanwhile, Madam Attivor, has held bilateral talks with her counterparts in the United Arab Emirate, UAE, authorities on behalf of President Mahama, for the possibility of protocol arrangement between civil aviation institutions of Ghana and the UAE. This arrangement is expected largely to benefit Ghana, due to the giant status of the UAE’s aviation industry globally.
A subsequent close door meeting between the Transport Minister and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum during the two-day conference, is said to have boosted relationship between the Emirates and Ghana in terms of support of Ghana’s growing aviation industry.
This relationship is expected to lead to the opening of the nation’s airspace for large scale air travel within the sub-region and the rest of the world.
Between 2010-2015, Africa was rated the third fastest growing region in the world in terms of international traffic with an average growth rate of 6.1 percent compared to the global average of 5.8 percent, and 7.9 percent and 6.9 percent for the Middle East and Asia Pacific, respectively. Europe, Latin America and North America are projected to record lower international passenger growth of 5.0 percent, 5.8 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.
Furthermore, forecasts show, passenger traffic among emerging economies – identified as Asia, Africa, China, the CIS, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America–growing at 6.8 percent and accounting for more than 40 percent of passenger traffic by 2032.
The minister was accompanied by Charles Hanson Adu, Director Operations, GAC, Abdulai, Alhassan, Director General, GCAA, Kwesi Taylor, a Consultant to Ministry of Transport.
The rest were, Nyarko Oppong, Managing Director, UNIBANK and the Representative of Ghana Consulate in Dubai.
According to the Minister, the Mahama administration, is taking issues related to the aviation industry serious given the potentials realized in the industry.