Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has urged stakeholders in the aviation industry in Africa to coordinate and harmonise their policies and regulatory framework for a single air transport market to enhance connectivity and stimulate socio-economic development.
He said the progress of the aviation sector would never be sustained if stakeholders failed to work together to eliminate the unhealthy fragmentation, minimise excessive regulation and protectionism of country’s airlines.
“There is the need to strengthen coordination and harmonization in regional policies and therefore the regulation of access to air transport markets, as recommended in the Yamoussoukro Decision of November 14,1999 and echoed in Single Air Transport Markets of the 2017 Solemn Commitment,” he said.
He was of the conviction that the coming into force of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (ACTA) would create a large single market for Africa to trade in goods and service, which ultimately boost the development of the aviation industry.
Vice President Bawumia said this at the opening of a two-day Regional Aviation Conference organised by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Accra.
The conference is being held on the theme: “Aviation: Business for Regional Prosperity”, which brought together policy-makers, aviation experts and chief executive officers of airlines in Sub-Saharan Africa and across the world, to deliberate and find strategic solutions to the aviation challenges and ensure the growth and development of the sector.
Vice President Bawumia expressed optimism that the platform would come out with well-thought out strategic solutions to improve and develop the aviation industry and assured of government’s commitment to continue playing active role in the aviation sector and champion the cause of civilian air transport.
“Let us collaborate to combat emerging security threats in the sub-region, our safety and security can be guaranteed adequately through information sharing and adhering to regulation standards in the industry. We must not fail the continent and the global community,” he added.
Air transport supports 6.2 million jobs and contributed US$55.8 billion of Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It contributed 4.6 per cent annual growth and would provide 334 million passengers by 2037.
Touching on a new local carrier for the country following the collapse of Ghana Airways, Dr Bawumia said government had started engagements with potential partners for a home-based airline, which formed part of efforts to ensure the country’s aviation industry grow to become the centre for regional and inter-continental flights in the West African sub-region.