Financing The Development of Aviation Infrastructure
The International Civil Aviation Organization held its World forum for the first time outside of Canada 20th to 22nd November, 2017 and Nigeria played host. The Forum whose theme was “Financing the Development of Aviation Infrastructure” was a “No Country Left Behind Initiative” of the ICAO and all those who matter in the global aviation industry were ably represented.
The Nigerian Minister of State Aviation, Mr. Hadi Abubakar Sirika hosted delegates and participants to a mini Durbar Festival and Polo Game in which he also played on the ICAO team, the winning team, after arrivals and registration at the Guards Polo Club Abuja.
The doors of the Congress Hall Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja opened early the next morning to delegates and participants for the Grand opening of the forum which featured a formal welcome address by the Nigerian Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, discussions, debates and high level business dialogues that lasted till late in the evening and continued on the next day.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina – President of the African Development Bank (AFDB) said, “The aviation industry opens up investments as nobody would invest in an inaccessible geo-location..”. He further touched on the importance of Power in achieving full productivity in any aviation market. He said, “African economies cannot get off the ground in the dark just as Aircrafts cannot take-off in the dark..”
The ICAO President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu in his own remarks stated that air transport is now the global mass transit system and Africa should take quick advantage of it. To ensure that no country will be left behind, he noted that African States needed to develop their strategic aviation plan in line with standard global practices. Also, focus should be placed on investment on soft capacity development such as human resources.
The ICAO President further stated that for his organization to achieve her target goals, States needed to formalize aviation development priorities, constantly review, shore up capabilities for aviation safety and invest in the next generation of Aviation proffessionals. He said, “Training and capacity building is key!”
Ms. Iyabo O. Sosina – Secretary General of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) stressed the importance of developing an aviation masterplan in order to make steady progress in Aviation development, She decried how only two African countries responded to a request for submission of an aviation masterplan made by her commission.
She charged African states to develop Aviation Masterplans and back it up with a business plan in order to attract investments. She also touched on capacity development and innovative financing, citing Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
For financing/Resource mobilization, good governance and stability of policies came tops. Connection of policies going from the regional to continental level was also discussed as well as the alignment of strategies in the Aviation sector with the tourism and trade sectors.