Accra - The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in partnership with the Ministry of Aviation of the Republic of Ghana, held the IATA Regional Aviation Forum – Ghana 2019 on June 24-25 in Accra under the theme “Aviation: Business for Regional Prosperity”. With over 200 participants from the industry, the forum addressed the most critical issues affecting aviation for Africa, with a particular focus on West and Central Africa.
Air transport supports 6.2 million jobs and $55.8 billion of GDP in Africa. Over the next 20 years, demand for air transport is expected to double, with a 4.6% annual growth – the second fastest of all IATA regions. This translates to an extra 199m passenger journeys per year in 2037 for a total market of 334 million passengers. Cargo volumes are also expected to double over the next 20 years.
Travel & tourism’s economic footprint in Ghana is significant. In 2018, it make up 5.5% of GDP (Cedi 16.5 billion), created 640,000 jobs or 4.7% total employment and contributed Cedi 4.2 billion in international visitor spend or 4% total exports.
The country is a good example of Africa’s growth and what can be achieved when government recognizes the value of aviation and prioritizes it as a strategic pillar to drive socio-economic growth. Because of strong government support, Ghana is a leader in the West and Central Africa region.
From the recently announced aviation security audit, where Ghana obtained a provisional Effective Implementation (EI) rate of 89.89 percent, the highest by an African country, to the wonderful new terminal recently commissioned at Kotoka International Airport, Ghana has a lot to be proud of. Ghana has also passed a new civil aviation act to further improve safety and strengthen security. Aviation modernization is needed across Africa and Ghana is a great example of how to do it effectively.
“Placing aviation at the center of African governments agendas is key to unlocking the immense potential of Africa and generating the economic and social benefits of a safe, secure and sustainable air transport industry”, said Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Africa and Middle East.
“While it is evident that aviation in Africa has the potential to fuel trade and economic growth, several barriers exist: weak and costly infrastructure, high ticket prices, poor intra-Africa connectivity, and a proliferation of taxes and charges”, highlighted Albakri.
“Collaboration is key to addressing these regional challenges. We must ensure a strong dialogue and partnership between government and the aviation, and I encourage governments to use the Smarter Regulations approach to collaborate with industry stakeholders and also to consult transparently and objectively across the aviation value chain to ensure benefits for all”, added Albakri.