Kigali, 22 February 2017
More than 500 delegates from 58 countries working in different sections of the aviation industry have convened at Kigali Convention Centre for the Aviation Africa 2017 Conference. The two day Conference that was officially opened by HE Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, aims at attracting investment in aviation sector in Africa and forging partnerships between local and international investors in the aviation sector.
In his keynote address, the Head of State recalled the commitment made 15 years ago by 44 African Countries, towards deregulating air services and promoting competitive regional aviation markets.
In line with that commitment, HE the President noted that “Rwanda has stepped up efforts towards the creation of a single African air transport market, by fully opening up our skies, and working actively with partner states, to do the same”. “When our skies are closed, it is harder to make air transport safer, more reliable, and more affordable”, he further underscored.
On his side, the Minister of Infrastructure, Honorable James Musoni, noted in his remarks that the transport sector has been one of the key engines of growth in any economy.
On Day one of the Conference, Rwanda Defence Force-Air Force Chief of Staff, Brig Gen Charles Karamba made a presentation on the African Air Defence and its management on limited resources.
The AFCOS highlighted that unlike other organisations, the Air Defense cannot rely on the foreign worker population to augment its workforce, given its importance to National Security.
"National military and civil aviation are intrinsically different from each other. However, they are equally important to the State for National Security and Economy reasons, respectively”, Gen Karamba told the Participants.
Participants to the ongoing two-day conference and exhibition are drawn from various sectors of the aviation industry including Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) organisations, business aviation, defence and commercial aviation, training providers and academics. The Aviation Africa 2017 Conference is the second event of the kind, and it is the first time it is held in Africa.