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Better training and skill development, common aviation policy, mutually beneficial partnerships, and cross-border investment in Africa were some of the major items up for discussion at the 2014 African Aviation Summit from June 9-13 at the Sheraton Hotel.
Experts and financiers from all over Africa came to the summit held under the theme: ‘The Next 50 Years: Role of the African Union in supporting African aviation’.
Nick Fadugba, CEO of African Aviation Services Limited, who helped moderate the summit, says that every year USD 10 billion is being earned by Non-African airlines that fly out of Africa. If this changes the money can be used to invest in African economies, create jobs and expand airports.
Although he pointed out that airlines from outside the continent have contributed to air transport in Africa, the airlines based in Africa need to support each other and get support from their constituents or risk losing the 20 percent profit share they currently have.
Similarly, Jean-Louis Ekra, President of AFREXIMBANK stated that African governments need to put more money into building better aviation infrastructure. Doing this should attract more local money in aviation, he said expressing dismay at the dominance of foreign airlines.
According to the AFREXIMBANK president, in 2010, the airline industry in Africa supported about seven million jobs through direct and indirect activities in the travel and tourism industries.
If the industry hopes to increase those numbers, more investment is needed especially in the development of trade, by 2015 Africa will be the third fastest growing region with regards to international air traffic, he added.
According to presentations, the demand for air transport in Africa has been steadily increasing. Passenger numbers and freight traffic grew by 45 percent and 80 percent respectively between 2011 and 2012.