By Alfred Dogbey
The Transport Minister, Mrs. Dzifa Aku Attivor, has re-launched the first-ever global aviation exposition in Africa to be hosted in Ghana, and expected to be a major boost for the nation’s aviation industry.
The much anticipated event, which would be hugely beneficial to the country, would be held from October 12-14, 2016 at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), with huge display of aircrafts and other aviation related equipment from international companies.
Dubbed ‘Africa Air Expo’, the event is being organized by the Government of Ghana under the patronage of President John Dramani Mahama and the International Centre of Excellence of Abu Dhabi. The Ministry of Transport is the facilitator.
Speaking at the re-launch last Tuesday at the Best Western Premier Hotel in Accra, Mrs. Attivor said, the African Air Expo 2015 will make “a Global Statement that Ghana and indeed, Africa is the obvious choice for the future of global aviation”.
The Air Expo, which was initially programmed to be held from October 9 to 11, 2014, had to be postponed due to the deadly Ebola outbreak, and according to her, “the recovery of for Aviation across the region from the ravages of Ebola is a critical priority not only for the sub-region but for the who of Africa”.
The Minister disclosed that, “Ghana fully supports any endeavors towards implementing the Liberalization of the African skies following the African Union agreements earlier this year”.
Mrs. Attivor, who lauded the initiative said, “we believe that this will foster a conducive landscape for cooperation between African nations so as to allow more direct flights among its nations and also growing relationships with non-African partners”.
The Minister, told the guests and dignitaries at the re-launch that, the Mahama government believes that, the African Air Expo, will bring together in one venue, the major players covering a wide profile in the realm of African Aviation.
She indicated that, “Ghana also enjoys a stable political climate on the African Continent, therefore, our objective is to create this awareness within the African and Global Aviation that an investment into Ghana’s Aviation in whatever form will, in the final analysis, be mutually beneficial both to Ghana as well as investors who bring into our country their expertise and resources”.
She predicted, “we expect that fora such as African Air Expo 2016 will create an opportunity for public and private sectors to collaborate on critical issues facing Africa Aviation”. This, she explained, “is important for us a Government simply because it provides us with a deeper insight into the roadmap for Africa Aviation and
how Africa can strategically position itself within this roadmap”.
Touching on the objectives of the African Air Expo in 2016, the Minister revealed the aim is to contribute towards this discourse in African Aviation and to examine how Ghana can play a key role in this Agenda.
She said, “the benefits of these partnerships will allow us to focus on critical areas within our own Aviation Industry, such as upgrading our airports infrastructure to meet the demands of Aviation on the Continent”.
According to her, “this coordinated approach is best devised and executed when we partner with those entities who have had the experience of positioning their Airports and Airlines strategically within the realm of global Aviation”.
She concluded by stressing that “we commit ourselves to work closely with all nations in Africa and globally to ensure that the Africa Air Expo 2016 in Ghana reflects the interests of our entire Continents”.
Meanwhile, the organizers of the event said, the African Air Expo would bring together major players within the aviation industry, enabling a demanding clientele to discover the industry’s latest developments and innovations in a remarkable and convenient location.
Briefing the media, they said, “General business and commercial aviation have seen strong growth within Africa in terms of number of movements and registered aircraft which have increased steadily over the last few years”.
According to them, “part of this growth is due to a growing demand by African companies to efficiently transport teams to remote areas in certain industries such as mining, oil and gas”.
For this reason, they noted that Africa was a fertile market for the growth of General, Business and Commercial Aviation, as well as Growing Airport Infrastructure Demand, thus predicting 6.7 million jobs, US$67.8 Billion GDP, 67 Million passengers, 256 Airlines, 1,302 Aircraft and 762,000 Flights”.