ICAO Compliance Key To African Air Connectivity – By Roland Ohaeri

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The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recently affirmed that Africa’s emergence as one of the world’s fastest growing air transport markets is predicated on a deepening of regional cooperation and investment toward the implementation of ICAO’s strategic plans, standards, and other guidance materials.

As air connectivity is a crucial catalyst for local and global development, the realization of traffic growth projections will provide significant contributions towards the sustainable development of aviation in Africa, notably in terms of the achievement of the African Union and the United Nations’ respective goals. Reflecting this, ICAO has strongly encouraged bilateral and multilateral co-operation in support of aviation development in recent years.

ICAO’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mr. Barry Kashambo says: “Under our No Country Left Behind initiative, for example, and in close cooperation with appropriate State authorities, the African Union Commission (AUC), African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), IATA and other key industry stakeholders, ICAO provides distinct assistance and programmes to promote country-by-country ICAO compliance with the Standards And Recommended Practices (SARPs).”

He adds: “In addition to our Global Plans and assistance work, ICAO undertakes the implementation of regional and national capacity-building initiatives and pursues these directly with African governments to address both known and emerging challenges to the safety, security and efficiency of air transport operations.”

“While many African States have now established effective safety and security oversight capacities in their territories, and no fatal accidents were recorded in either 2016 or 2017 here in Africa, ICAO audits of government oversight in these areas continue to reveal that a number of States are faced with challenges when it comes to assuring their ICAO compliance,” Mr. Kashambo highlights. “In order to address these shortfalls in a collective and sustainable manner, political and government commitments coupled with a cohesive and focused approach involving all stakeholders are key prerequisites.”

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