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AfDB, Stakeholders Chart New Course for Aviation in Africa

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The African Development Bank assembled top representatives from African airlines, aviation industry organizations, civil aviation and regulatory authorities, airplane manufacturers, financiers and development partners to discuss the future of aviation in Africa.

The Bank initiated the consultation to obtain the views of stakeholders as it prepares its action plan on aviation on the heels of the launch by the African Union of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative in January.

Alongside the main conference, two events took place, which were led by African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Amani Abou-Zeid and Symerre Grey Johnson, Head of Regional Integration Infrastructure and Trade for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

The meetings captured the conference outcomes in a coordinated roadmap for SAATM implementation in Africa.

“We are keen to support practical efforts by countries, regional organizations and companies from the aviation sector to increase connectivity and reduce and open up the African skies,” Pierre Guislain, the Bank’s Vice-President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, said in his opening remarks.

The central aspect of SAATM is to allow member airlines to fly to airports in other member countries to achieve ‘open skies’ in Africa, thereby boosting traffic and trade and achieving double-digit growth in the industry by 2023 in line with the SAATM initiative.

Much of the discussion at the conference revolved around the practical measures needed to achieve these goals and remove persistent challenges facing the industry, including high fares, fees and charges, poor infrastructure and expensive access to finance. Air fares in Africa are two or three times those in other parts of the world for comparable distances.

Numerous suggestions on policy and solutions emerged at the two-day event including a strong recommendation for a regional approach to accelerate aviation safety and security plans, and the extension of capacity building training to all aviation technical and executive staff.

Delegates called for a greater focus on fleet size, prioritizing narrow body and regional aircrafts in aviation financing. They also called for increased government commitment, and an alignment of national frameworks to international conventions.

The meeting urged governments to adopt a more collaborative decision-making approach, with consultations at regional levels, for construction of both airport and air navigation services infrastructure.

Delegates frequently referred to a 2014 InterVISTAS study, commissioned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which modeled the impact of an open skies agreement among 12 African countries.

Passenger traffic in those countries was projected to increase by more than 80% to 11 million passenger movements from 6.1 million. The economic effect of open skies was even more impressive. The study estimated that GDP would grow by US $1.3 billion with the creation of 155,000 jobs.

Amadou Oumarou, Director of the African Development Bank’s Infrastructure and Urban Development Department, said, “We are going to prepare an action plan, not just for the Bank but for all stakeholders. When that has been done, we shall devise the Bank’s aviation strategy framework.”

The African Development Bank has invested close to US $1 billion over the past decade in the construction and expansion of airport terminals, as well as aviation safety and aircraft financing.

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Logistics

Air Peace Expands Regional Operations to more Destinations

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Air Peace has said it will begin the third phase of its regional operations in the next few weeks with the launch of flights to Monrovia, Lome, Abidjan and some other West Coast destinations.

 

 

Mr Chris Iwarah, Corporate Communications Manager, made this known on Monday in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.

 

 

Iwarah said that the airline was already realizing its goal of guaranteeing seamless connectivity on the West Coast of Africa with the launch of its Accra, Ghana; Freetown, Sierra Leone and Dakar, Senegal flight operations.
He said that the plan to add Monrovia, Lome and Abidjan to the airline’s route network was in appreciation of its customers on the West Coast who had reached out to it to expand its regional operations to cover more underserved destinations.

 

 

“On Feb.16, 2017, we launched our Accra, Ghana operations and gave members of the flying public a refreshing choice of spectacular flight services on the route.

 

“Just about a year after our entry into the Accra route, we took another huge step to deepen our West Coast operations with the launch of our Freetown, Banjul and Dakar services on Feb.19, 2018.

 

“We are deeply grateful that members of the flying public have not only endorsed our regional flight operations with their patronage and loyalty, but are now requesting that we expand our network to cover more West Coast destinations.

 

 

“We feel highly honoured that our wonderful guests are pleased with our domestic and regional operations,” Iwarah said.

 

 

According to him, the goal of Air Peace is to make air connectivity on the West Coast and indeed the entire Africa seamless, comfortable and affordable and a refreshing experience.

 

 

He said: “We are ready to take up the challenge and kick off the third phase of our regional operations with the commencement of our Monrovia, Lome and Abidjan services in the next few weeks.

 

“It is the least we can do in appreciation of our esteemed guests whose support and loyalty have taken us to the top spot as leaders of the commercial flight business on the West Coast of Africa.”

 

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CLMI will promote Professionalism and create Employment in the Economy- Shittu

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Barr Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communication has said that Courier and Logistics Management Institute (CLMI) will help promote professionalism in the courier ecosystem and breed entrepreneurs who will create jobs for Nigerians.

 

Shittu made these remarks at the investiture, awards and book presentation of the Courier and Logistics Management Institute (CLMI) held yesterday at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

 

He noted that CLMI both an academic and professional institute will bridge the gap between professionalism and service in the courier and logistics management sphere, as well as helping the current efforts of the Buhari administration at reforming and commercializing the Nipost.

 

He explained that Nigerian postal service has the potential of generating sufficient income and compete with any of its kind worldwide, adding that these were the reason government has taken the issue of postal reform very seriously.

 

The minister stated that the Nipost bill current at the national assembly will set separate the hitherto dual functions of Nipost as regulator and operator in the courier service sector, which will pave way for efficient regulation and efficient service delivery by every courier operator in the sector.

 

He added that the thrust of the bill when passed into law will ensure that Nipost concentrates on its functions as an operator in Nigeria’s postal system thereby making it pitch for a share of the deregulated courier and logistics market.

 

Shittu however commended the Chairman and management of CLMI for their contributions in the development of the sector, adding that a lot still needs to be done in the development of the sector and of Nigeria as a whole.

 

Dr. Simon Emeje, Chairman of CLMI, Speaking at the launch said that CLMI aim is to fill the gap of created in the areas Courier, Logistics, Management, Transportation which covers every aspect of human life.

 

In his words, “World over, every human being is covered by these four areas- Courier, Logistics, Management and Transport.

 

“Most times, people are not conscious of the operations in these areas. We are trying to ignite that in Nigerians.

 

“So, we want people to know these are areas you can professionalise; that is, you are made to do things better.

 

“Courier is time sensitive which is applicable in every aspect of our endeavours either virtual or physical.

 

“Logistics will tell you how to process goods, store and distribute them to the lastmile (end user).

 

“Management entails control, directing and making adequate decisions that will harness resources for favourable results.

 

“In Transport, after you have put all these together, you need to move them- the network of distribution of the product from one place to another.

 

“These are strategic areas of every human life.” he said.

 

Dr. Emeje, said the Institute is the first of its kind in the whole world, having focus on courier, logistics, transport and management, adding that there is no Institute of this magnitude across the globe that combines the four key areas.

 

He said that CLMI is collaborating with Universities, both within and outside Nigeria to award Degrees/HND courses in Courier and Logistics Management, Courier and Transport Management in the respective institutions.

 

He added that CLMI has developed a curriculum from first year to the fifth year for the undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the field, adding that economic prospects in the industry are many.

 

He also conferred award of life patron and fellow of Courier and Logistics Management Institute of Nigeria to the honorable minister of communications Barr Adebayo Shittu.

 

Barr Bisi Adegbuyi, CEO and Postmaster General of the Federation, ably represented by Abdulkarim Baba, Director Strategy and Business Development, Nipost, said that courier is the first primary mode of transmitting things from one place to another.

 

He noted that courier has played a major role in the economy of the country over the years and it will continue to do so for the development of the country.

 

He commended the institute for putting together the event and implores them to continue to provide leadership in the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

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Logistics

Afreximbank to Assist Nigeria Airline Operators Acquire New Aircraft

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AS part of its, efforts at improving the air transport infrastructure across Africa, the African Import Export Bank, Afreximbank    and the Russian Export Center, REC, Wednesday, began a roadshow in Lagos under a new partnership that would raise the profile of Russian aircraft and helicopters in Africa and enable Nigerian airline operators access financial support and facility to acquire brand new aircraft.

This is just as Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Captain Nogie Meggison said the intervention of Afreximbank is a welcome development in the Nigeria aviation sector.

The roadshow, which    featured presentations, showcased a range of cutting-edge Russian aircraft and helicopters, with demonstrations and flight experiences, over the next five days, started in Nairobi, Kampala in Uganda, Lagos, will continue in Abuja and end in Bamako, Mali.

Rene Awambeng, Afreximbank’s Global Head for Client Relations said:  “Our partnership with the Russian Export Centre gives key players in Africa’s aviation industry tremendous opportunities.

The 17-year average fleet age of African airlines is the oldest of any world region, and by showcasing state-of-the-art and more fuel-efficient aircraft, and the newest helicopters, together with our expertise and experience in aircraft finance, we can enable the upgrading of Africa’s aviation industry.”

“This upgrade is a key element in boosting economies and many industry sectors. We look forward to conversations with authorities and the aviation industry to discuss their development plans and identify areas where they require funding and technical assistance.”

Meanwhile, Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Captain Nogie Meggison said the intervention of AfreximBank is a welcome development.

He said: “We have always asked that we have access to brand new aircraft. With AfreximBank coming into the picture to finance it, it opens a new chapter for us into acquisition of brand new aircraft”.

“Our problems in Nigeria as carriers are our financial structure and access to markets. You cannot finance an aircraft like this using 26percent from the Nigerian banks. With AfreximBank coming in now, to lease the aircraft, we will be asked a 10 to 15percent deposit of the actual value of the aircraft.

The cash flow immediately gets better and we will have disposable income to take shock. So you can afford to pay a six months lease or put a deposit of 10percent and still have cash in your pocket”, he added.

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