More than 500 aviation experts and stakeholders from across the globe are meeting at the Kigali Convention Centre for a two-day summit to ponder solutions that will help boost airline business in Africa.
The summit has brought together executives, policymakers and service providers in the aviation industry to discuss issues surrounding safety and professionalism, among other subjects.
The experts are also discussing barriers to the growth of the aviation sector in the continent, regulation, safety and profits.
Under the theme: ‘Flying forward together – developing partnerships for Africa’s future skies’, the 2-day summit and exhibition, is expected to discuss the key issues driving change in the African Aviation sector.
With the single skies’ agreement (SAATM) now in place, this event will see leaders discuss the challenges and successes in implementing the agreement.
At the summit, drones use will also feature prominently as the continent is leading the way in drone usage, and is already operating drones to deliver vital medical supplies in Rwanda and Ghana.
Zipline Inc is expected to share its experience in the aspect.
Africa is tipped to be the world’s fastest-growing aviation market with nearly 6 per cent annual growth in passenger volumes over the next 20 years.
According to Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame, Africanstates must desist from practicing protectionism but rather champion policies that will help make aviation a profitable business in Africa.
Meanwhile, the chairman of IATA – International Air Transport Association – Akbar Al Baker and CEO of Gulf carrier Qatar Airways has called on governments to ensure they fully liberalize the continent’s airspace to boost aviation business.
Hadi Akoum, Vice President, and Sales for Sub-Sahara Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands at Airbus said: “The Aviation Africa summit has established itself as an important business event on the African calendar,”
He added: “With urbanisation, population growth and economic expansion, Africa’s air travel market is doubling in size every 15 years, making it one of the fastest expanding markets.
When one takes a broader view, aerospace in Africa also presents significant opportunities for industrial, social, knowledge-based and entrepreneurial partnerships that are essential to sustainable development.
By Peterson Tumwebaze