Sunday, August 17, 2014

AFRICA IN FOCUS >> Coming up on 19 August, 2014: "Africa’s Aviation Sector: Challenges; Prospects; and the Future"

The State of the Africa’s Aviation Sector: Challenges; Prospects; and the Future

In talking about the aviation sector, it is possible to speculate that one has touched on a topic so esoteric and specialised that it requires the knowledge and passion of an expert to explain them. Truth be told, the more one reads, the more one realises that it is more of the same of the quintessential turf wars that populate the literature of the fight between the West and the Global South, especially Africa, for its own policy space.

Let's make no bones about this: we need neither a Western country; a UN agency; NEPAD; nor the AU to tell us about the critical importance of the aviation sector to Africa's development. The principal reason why any international body like the AU, NEPAD, or the UN might want to remind us is simply so Africans can take the bull by the horns and create their destiny about the “open skies” policy the Yamoussoukro Decision seeks to advocate.

There are no easy solutions to the challenge of facilitating an open-skies policy for Africa. This does not mean that we should not try to do something about it. There already exists the YD, which has been in operation since 2002. Other institutions, such as AFCAC, and Banjul Accord Group(linking 7 ECOWAS countries) exist to help resolve the challenge. Africa is fortunate to have organisations, such as AFRAA, that have transformed themselves into virtual advocacy organisations for the African airline industry. There is, however, more that can be done.

It is for this reason that we are using the 14th edition of “Africa in Focus” to interrogate the aviation sector.

There are five major reasons why it is important to look at the sector. First are the perennially-expensive airline tickets. Second is the state of the YD. What are some of the experiences that those in the studio can attest to around its implementation? Third, what are some of the solutions towards resolving the expensive aviation fuel? Is the solution Joint-Fuel purchases? Fourth, how can consumers ever be shielded from the very-high taxes; charges; and fees on airline tickets so that consumers can finally pay for affordable tickets? Finally, in the light of the Ebola scare, how are airlines bracing themselves to respond to what seems like a long-term challenge for the aviation industry?

Guiding Questions to be answered:
·        What concrete measures are airlines taking to help bring down tickets?
·        How satisfied are the airlines operating here that the Yamassoukro Declaration is being implemented?
·        What is the state of play about aviation fuel? Are some airlines getting it cheaper elsewhere?
·        Taxes, Charges and Fees are the highest in West Africa. Is it a case of West African governments being insensitive to the necessity of airlines in contributing to Africa’s development?
·        With the onset of Ebola, how are airlines bracing themselves to respond to the crisis? What assurances are they giving their passengers?
·        What can our governments do better to help the aviation sector, beyond implementing the YD?

Guests in the studio:
Ø  William Afadzinu, Marketing Manager, ASKY Airlines
Ø  Anthony Sarfo, Marketing Manager--West & North Africa, Kenya Airways
Ø  Adewale Adeniran, Sales Manager, Arik Air

Tune in at 13h10 GMT (1:00pm Ghana Time). We’re also streaming live

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