While the air transport recovery trajectory continues post COVID-19 – and with the headwinds arising from other geopolitical-related developments, it is critical for the air transport ecosystem stakeholders to put their weight behind concerted actions for air transport business to thrive and contribute to the continent’s sustainable rapid development. It is timely to redefine the narrative of Africa’s air transport industry to that of interconnectedness, affordability, profitability, efficiency and sustainability. This was the impetus of the much-awaited Convention held under the theme ‘Changing the African Aviation Narrative’.
The Convention was held at the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 07 – 09 May 2023 under patronage of the Government of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, and was graced by two Ethiopian Ministers – Nasise Chali, Ethiopia Minister of Tourism, and Dr. Alemu Sime, Ethiopia Minister of Transport and Logistics – who was the Guest of Honour.
Speaking at the Convention on the importance of changing the future of our industry with transformative ideas and actions, Mr. Abdérahmane Berthé emphasised that African Airlines face many challenges which the industry needs to contemplate and find lasting solutions for with serious considerations. “Critical among the challenges facing our industry is sustainability. Only 10% of African citizens can afford air transport, meaning there is huge room for growth. Reducing the cost of operation, cooperation among airlines, partnerships and consolidation are part of AFRAA’s initiatives and advocacy to make air transport affordable for Africans,” he said.
The Convention’s main objective was to convene stakeholders to dialogue and deliberate on subject matters to pave the way for the air transport industry’s development, and change the narrative of African aviation. This Convention also aimed at establishing lasting interactions and partnerships among aviation players and airlines in the aviation value chain for win-win relationships that will benefit African aviation.
A total of 31 African airlines attended the Conference, of which 14 were represented at the CEO level. Overall, the event was attended by 455 participants from 42 countries. Aviation ecosystem stakeholders at the Convention deliberated on the following key subjects that were lined up in the programme:
- The Pillars for African Aviation Sustainability
- Roadmap to Fast-Track the Implementation of SAATM
- Enhancing Cargo Operations, E-Commerce Networks and Logistics
- Keeping Track of Abuja Safety Targets for Africa
- How to Remarket Aviation
- Training the Next-Gen Aviation professionals for Sustainability of Africa’s Air Transport Industry
- Accelerating Intra-Africa Tourism for Sustainable Growth