By Roland Ohaeri
The Agency for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) mid-September 2020 re-elected Mr. Mohamed MOUSSA as the Director General of the Agency for a second term of four years. His new term of office will run from 2021 to 2024. Mr. Moussa, who is from Niger Republic, has been serving as the DG ASECNA since 2017.
There is strong belief that his re-election offers the opportunity to advance the technological and personnel training objectives of ASECNA, an institution that hasover the last 60 years become a paradigm for cooperative and cohesive aviation development in Africa.
Mr. Mohamed Moussa, DG ASECNA
Over the past four years, as DG ASECNA, Mr. Moussa has demonstrated exemplary leadership in the transformation of ASECNA in terms of training of African aviation professionals, as well as technological build-up and transfer of technical knowledge to African professionals.
ASECNA,an international public organization,provides air traffic management support to 17 of ASECNA’s African member States covering an airspace of 16,500,000 square kilometers, divided into six flight information regions (FIRs) as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
More importantly, ASECNA equally“develops solutions for airport management, aviation infrastructure studies and construction, equipment maintenance, calibration of air navigation instruments and training for civil aviation staff.”ASECNA’s 18 Member States include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad and Togo.
Mr. Alioune Sarr, Minister of Tourism and of the Air Transport of Senegal, representing His Excellency Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, emphasises the essence of a visionary leader for ASECNA as the industry faces the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic. This, in effect, largely represents the expectation of the aviation industry in Africa, and would serve as fresh fillip for Mr. Moussa to continue along the line of innovation in leading ASECNA, especially amidst the crushing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further, Mr. Hervé Yves Hehomey, Minister of Infrastructures and Transports du Benin, Chairman-in-Office of the Committee of Ministers, explains that ASECNA, as an air navigation service provider, draws its resources almost exclusively from fees paid by airlines, which shows the drastic reduction of ASECNA’s revenue by COVID-19 pandemic.
While Mr. Moussa would be guided by the crucial need for innovation and closer cooperation with key stakeholders including airlines, there is a strong expectation that he would prioritize further improvement of technological capacity and capabilities, an aspect in which he has led ASECNA to achieve recent successes,strengthening the foreground for sustainable future ATM technology in Africa.
Early in 2020, ASECNA launched the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology seen as a major breakthrough that would reduce costs, enhance safety, and increase unmatched efficiencies,among other benefits in flight operation and air travel in Africa. In mid-September 2020 also, ASECNA took delivery of a Cessna Sovereign calibration aircraft to improve its service quality.
So far, Mr. Moussa has shown the passion for intra-Africa collaboration and integration, and has intensified close partnerships with contiguous airspaces, among others. In another recent remarkable achievement, ASECNA joined hands with Nigeria’s NIGCOMSAT (Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited) and Thales to launch Africa’s first Satellite-Based Augmentation System (S-BAS), which Mr. Moussa describes as “a crucial major step forward in the development of satellite navigation in the AFI Region.”
“It demonstrates the ambition and commitment of ASECNA to enhance air navigation safety for the benefit of the whole continent, in line with my vision for the unification of the African Sky,” he adds.
Given Africa’s poor position in global economy and international civil aviation, ASECNA and indeed other African Air Navigation Services Providers (ANSPs) must accelerate the harmonization of ATM policies and achievement of interoperability of ATM systems in Africa. No doubt, innovative ATM system is essentially needed for the actualization of the Single African Sky (SAS) concept, which will in turn enhance the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)projects crucial to the achievement of the African Union’s (AU’s)Agenda 2063 for Africa’s economic transformation.
Mr. Mohamed Moussa Director General, ASECNA Mr. Moussa has been the Director General of ASECNA since January 2017 is an Economist and Air Navigation Engineer. Trained in France and Niger, he spent a great part of his career in ASECNA.
He occupied many strategic positions among which Chief of the Projects of ASECNA; Chief of the Maintenance Department; Director of the Regional School for Air Navigation and Management; and Director of Human Resources. He has also been the Representative of ASECNA in Mauritania and Comoros.
In his country of Niger, Mr. Mohamed Moussa has held several ministerial portfolios including the Ministry of the Interior and Security, the Ministry of Commerce and finally the Ministry of Transport and Tourism. Prior to his appointment as Director General of ASECNA in January 2017, Mr. Mohamed Moussa held the post of Advisor to the Prime Minister of Niger and Responsible for the Public-Private Partnership Support Unit (PPP).