The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) says that the realization of better air connectivity in Africa, and the crucial sustainable development it promises, will only be accomplished through the mobilization of sufficient and appropriate investments and through greater levels of compliance with ICAO Regional and Global Planning
Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, ICAO Council President, who spoke recently at the ICAO 2019 Aviation Infrastructure for Africa Gap Analysis Workshop in Abuja, Nigeria, remarks: “It is especially urgent for Africa to address its aviation infrastructure gaps, given current and high levels of awareness of how air connectivity has become such a unique and indispensable catalyst for socio-economic growth on this continent.”
ICAO long-term traffic forecasts presently indicate that passenger and freight traffic for the African region are expected to grow by 4.3 per cent and 3.8 per cent annually through 2035. Currently accounting for four per cent of global air transport services, Africa presents the highest potential for growth out of all of ICAO’s global regions.
“The launch last year of the African Union’s Single Market demonstrated Africa’s unity and agreement of the fact that aviation connectivity’s socio-economic benefits are real, sustainable, and worthy of the attention and commitments of African Governments,” Dr. Aliu insists, adding: “But rapidly-expanding air traffic and enhanced air connectivity can only be sustained with continued investment and development for aviation infrastructure, capacity and technology, supported by a regulatory framework which is ICAO compliant and therefore harmonized with other States and Regions.”
The goal of the Abuja workshop is to help address the needs of African States by defining a practical and agreed methodology and approach to aviation infrastructure gap analyses. This could then serve as a key reference for African States seeking to develop regional and national aviation infrastructure programmes and master plans, all fully in line with current forecast traffic growth and the related targets defined in ICAO’s Global plans.
“All investments in aviation infrastructure development and modernization on this continent must be directed to well-managed projects featuring solid business cases and due levels of accountability, transparency and quality assurance,” Dr. Aliu underscores.