African States, industry stakeholders, and international and regional organizations gathered in Accra, Ghana, last week, for the Second International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Meeting on the Sustainable Development of Air Transport in Africa.
Organized in conjunction with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the Meeting gathered 224 participants from 36 States and many international organizations. They assessed progress towards the implementation of the Antananarivo Declaration of 2015 and agreed on future actions to bolster its implementation.
The President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, provided a keynote address to the event, urging African states to address their air transport liberalization and infrastructure development priorities promptly.
According to him, the slow implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision has resulted in lessened African air transport connectivity and competitiveness. He stressed the related priorities under the African Union’s (AU’s) Agenda 2063 further and toward the creation of a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
Referring to the short-term need for aviation infrastructure development in Africa, President Aliu called it a “formidable challenge,” noting that “the rapid growth of air traffic will place increased pressure on existing aviation capacity, and it is currently projected that no fewer than 24 airports in Africa will be saturated by 2020.”
He encouraged the African States to take pragmatic measures to build a transparent, stable and predictable investment climate to support aviation development and to integrate aviation development planning into their national development and multi-modal transport plans.