Monday, November 3, 2014

AFRICA IN FOCUS >> Coming up on 4 November, 2014: State of Africa's Aviation Sector(3)

State of Africa’s Aviation Sector(3), and Burkina Faso update!

Following domestic airline Starbow’sTakoradi-bound aircraft that was compelled to make an emergency landing at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), after a hydraulic failure was detected by the pilot 15 minutes into the 45-minute flight, we felt it was important to do a third-take on the theme of Africa’s Airlines. So it is great to be talking about an African Airlines and African Airspace, but liberalization without safety is a non-starter.

Bottom line is this: the airline industry in Africa supports nearly 7 million jobs and $80 billion in GDP, but its potential is hampered by protectionism, constrained markets, safety concerns, costs and inadequate infrastructure and regulation. A report by InterVISTAS for the International Association of Travel Agents says liberalisation of air services covering Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda could create 155 000 jobs and boost GDP by $1.3 billion.

Additionally, the report studied the economic impact of implementing the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision, which pledged to open up Africa’s air-transport markets to transnational competition. “It is absurd that it is possible to travel 13 times a week from Nairobi to London yet impossible to travel directly from Nairobi to Dakar. A potential 5 million passengers a year are being denied the opportunity to travel, trade and spread economic and social development,” Airports Council International (ACI) says.

Very recently, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has proposed the placement of a cap on the age of aircraft permitted to fly to and from the airspace controlled by Ghana, known as the Accra Flight Information Region, as a way of checking recent aviation incidents in the sub-region.

Construed as an important step in ensuring safety, we want to use this 22nd edition of AIF to take the conversation on about Africa’s airlines even further by asking how safe we are when we fly, and flesh out from our guests important elements the public and consumers need to know about Africa’s aviation industry—both international and domestic!

In the light of developments in Burkina Faso, we will briefly speak to an expert from the West Africa Network on Peacebuilding (WANEP) to help us understand developments underway in that West African country.

Guiding Questions to be answered:
  • ·        What concrete measures are airlines taking to help bring down tickets?
  • ·     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?
  • ·        What can our governments do better to help the aviation sector, beyond implementing the YD?
  • What are some of the constraints faced by domestic airlines’ growth, and are African governments stil found wanting on inhibiting the growth of the sector?

Guests for the show:
Ø  Alimou Diallo, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) @13h20
Ø  Mr.Antwi-Bosiako, Aviation Consultant
Ø  Dominick Andoh, Head of Aviation Desk, Business & Financial Times Paper
Ø  Captain Amoah, Aviation Consultant, Business & Financial Times Paper

Ø  Kobby Blay, Ebola Watch

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