Aviation is a catalyst for socio-economic growth in Africa – Minister

Ijeoma Nwankpa, Abuja


Africa is the fastest growing air transport market in the world due to emerging industrial sector and increasing population.

Nigeria’s Minister of state for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika stated this at the opening of a two- day workshop on Aviation infrastructure for Africa Gap Analysis organised by the International Civil Aviation Organization, (ICAO) in Abuja.

According to him, Aviation supports about seven million jobs and seventy two billion dollars in Gross Domestic Product.

He therefore urged the stakeholders to address the aviation infrastructure gaps given current awareness on how airport activities have become a catalyst for socioeconomic growth of the continent .

ICAO President, Mr. Bernard Aliu, said that Africa presently account for about four percent of global air transport services and has the highest potential for growth out of all global regions.

He said inspite of the continent’s large population, its potential had not yet translated into strong and better development in the African states.

According to him, the ICAO air traffic forecast indicated that the current global traffic figures which stood at four point one billion passengers transported on thirty-eight million flights were expected to double in the next fifteen years.

The workshop would serve as a platform to increase familiarisation with the requirements of global and Regional plans in relation to quality aviation infrastructure, explore data collection aspects and the methodology for detailed gap analysis as well as share information on the development of Aviation master plans.

The workshop is also expected to formulate the objectives, scope of regional and national aviation infrastructure programmes for development of a civil aviation master plan for Africa.

The participants are delegates from fifty- four African countries, members of the African Union Commission, members form the Civil Aviation Commission, Regional Economic Communities, ICAO council members among others.

Ime Njoku