We are pleased to welcome our esteemed partners to year 2024.
The year 2024 comes with positive expectations for the African air transport industry. Traffic figures from the International Air Transport Association, IATA show that the industry is on course to achieve 2019 pre COVID traffic level later this year.
The agenda for the industry is already established on the need to continue the trajectory of growth in the industry and build sustainable development across all the sectors of the industry. One of such areas the industry in Africa needs to pay more attention to is training of manpower as it is critical not just to sustainability but also safety.
At African Aviation Training Organisation (AATO)’s Board Meeting, 10th Year Anniversary and Symposium in Abuja in December 2023, the call for harmonization of training curricula and collaboration amongst training institutions reverberated. Apart from current manpower shortage in Africa which is uneven, the industry is projected to require over 65,000 skilled manpower in various fields by 2041. It is therefore understood that for Africa to meet this huge manpower requirement, capacity of training institutions on the continent must be increased, through more funding, training more instructors and removal of barriers to acceptance of licenses from training schools in Africa.
Another area for focused attention by the industry is infrastructure. For a longtime, there has been a hard push for Africa to improve the state of its aviation infrastructure. Gladly, we have seen the shoots of this advocacy bear fruit. Many states in Africa are engaged in airport development. New airport projects have been built in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Angola amongst others. More ambitious airport projects are in progress in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Togo. This is indeed commendable and we hope for more modern and efficient terminals in the continent.
Therefore, as the airport industry in Africa gathers for the 71st ACI Africa Board Meeting and Regional Conference in Cairo, Egypt, we expect positive outcomes not only on how to make African airports more efficient and convenient but also to ensure their economic and environmental sustainability.
At the head of the sustainable development of the aviation industry in Africa is air transport liberalization. The African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), which is celebrating its 55th year of existence, is championing air liberalisation through the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) and we recognise the progress being made especially in the area of increased Fifth Freedom Traffic Rights. The latest spat between Tanzania and Kenya only serves to remind us of the work ahead of the continent in terms of liberalisation. We commend all stakeholders, including the AFCAC Secretary General, for their timely intervention to resolve the disagreement. As a continent, our commitment to air transport liberalisation for Africans must remain unshaken.
In January 2024, the 22 years illustrious career of Colonel Dokisime Gnama Latta at the helm of Togo Civil Aviation Authority came to an end. Col. Latta served as Director of Civil Aviation of Togo from 2002 to 2007 and as Director General of Agence Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ANAC) from 2007 to 2024. On behalf of the aviation industry in Africa, we thank Col. Latta for his service to Togo and Africa and wish him the best in his future endeavours.
Finaly, in this edition, we feature an interview with Ms Nozipho Mdawe, CEO of ATNS South Africa on its transformation agenda. The edition also features articles on African airport efficiency and aviation training.
Finally, we count on your support through readership and advert placements in 2024.
Capt. Edward Boyo